You might have heard that Nintendo has just sent out another firmware update for their only successful machine, the 3DS. In this latest update is what people are calling a “fix” for StreetPass outside of Japan. Well, the problem here is that Nintendo haven’t really “fixed” anything, in fact they’ve probably just added an extra layer of complication to something that was supposed to be a breeze in the first place. You might be wondering why someone at Vulgamer is rocking a 3DS, well as Briley loves his PSP, I love my 3DS XL. As much as I love shoving skyhooks into people’s craniums, I also like me some good, old fashioned Nintendo. With that in mind, I’ve had a 3DS XL for a month or so now, after I sold my original 3DS due to a poor line of titles.
The recent software update to the 3DS has apparently fixed StreetPass. Why? Well, Nintendo thinks that turning Nintendo Zones (yes, what the fuck are those, anyway?) into “relays” of sorts will make things better. It’s a noble attempt, for sure but in practice it won’t even make a dent. The idea is that when you visit a location with a Nintendo Zone (essentially a WiFi Hotspot) and connect to it, you leave a sort of footprint. Only this footprint is actually your Mii and StreetPass data. It’s an interesting idea that’s for sure but, it only stores the last person before you so the most you’re ever going to get out of this system is one more hit. Besides, how many of you are actually going to seek out a Nintendo Zone for a StreetPass hit? Exactly.
The problem with StreetPass is nothing to do with Nintendo’s implementation, that works quite well and it’s actually a reason to take the 3DS with you. Above is my 3DS XL chilling on my mouse pad, which is where it normally stays. I do take it with me though, and that does get me more and more StreetPass hits. The whole “Mii” thing is cheesy as fuck but, it can be fun.
No, the problem with StreetPass is us. In Japan, 3DS consoles are everywhere, and that’s great. Here in the West though, things are much different. For one thing, playing on a handheld console in public will probably get you some funny looks and at worse an insult from a member of what we call the “human race”. Now, what if you were playing “Angry Birds Cash-in #82” on your smartphone? Oh, then you’re just some cool dude who doesn’t give a fuck. The problem is that handheld games consoles aren’t “cool” anymore, and it’s almost weird to take it out of the house. We’ll not get into the issue of 3DS games being too expensive and the consoles being almost a burden to carry with you but, it’s clear that handheld gaming has never been so uncool in its life.
So, to sum up, Nintendo haven’t fixed anything. That’s because it didn’t need fixing, we do, and I’m pretty sure that StreetPass is never going to take off over in the West because unfortunately, we’re over it.