Nintendo of America announced that an official video service is headed to the 3DS handheld gaming device later this summer for North American audiences. However, Nintendo Video is launching first in Europe and Japan on July 13. The service is expected to deliver both 2D and 3D content to the 3DS in the form of cartoon and comedy clips as well as music videos. Nintendo is unlikely to deliver content consistently and is relying on a second video service called Spot TV for original programming. Programming for Japanese audiences from Nippon and Fuji TV features shows around animals, news and celebrity wrestling. Video content and updates are automatically downloaded when a user is in range of a Wi-Fi access point.
The update to the video service also brings Netflix to the Nintendo 3DS. If subscribed to the Netflix Instant streaming service ($7.99 a month), 3DS owners simple download the Netflix application and authorize the device. Netflix allows for up to six devices to utilize the streaming service per account. It’s unlikely that Netflix will offer any content formatted to take advantage of the 3D effect though. Netflix streaming was originally announced for launch in May 2011 at the Game Developer’s Conference, but was pushed to late summer by Nintendo of America.
The Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system hasn’t performed as well as the company originally hoped. President Satoru Iwata directed blame at the weak launch titles in a response to a recent investor question. However, Nintendo also made it clear that there are no plans on bringing its vast library to mobile devices such as the iPhone or Android phones. Nintendo is revamping classic titles like Excitebike for the 3DS with an upgrade to 3D. The volume of classics receiving this treatment is low due to the difficulty in development. For instance, converting Excitebike to utilize the 3D screen took about twenty times the planned development period.