Plugged In

3DS owners get online store, free game, free Wi-Fi this month

Bumper Jack

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Pokedex - Nintendo

Early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS have been a pretty patient bunch. New games for the system haven't exactly been rushing to retail, and there's only so much you can do with that 3D camera. But relief is on the way.

Nintendo says the long-awaited 3DS eShop will launch June 6 -- and to celebrate, the company is letting owners of the handheld system download a copy of Excitebike 3D Classic for free, if they grab it within the first 30 days.

And while Pokemon fans may not have a game for the 3DS yet, the store will let them pick up a copy of Pokedex 3D, letting them see the critters from Pokemon Black and White in 3D with animated motion and sound. They'll also get an augmented-reality marker that will let them 'see' the Pokemon in real-world settings.

The system update will also add a free Web browser to the 3DS, which (naturally) shows 3D images on selected sites. Nintendo has inadvertently followed Apple's lead in the browser category, though, as users won't be able to view flash video on their 3DS.

They will, however, have plenty of places to use the browser. On June 7, agreements between Nintendo and a number of partners kick in, which will offer 3DS owners free Wi-Fi access at 25,000 locations, including nearly 200 shopping malls around the country, over 1,000 Best Buy stores and some 24,000 AT&T hotspots.

While the eShop is the biggest update so far for the 3DS, more features are looming. The company has already announced that later this summer, owners will be able to stream Netflix movies to their systems. And Nintendo plans to launch a "short form video service" that will include 3D comedy clips, music videos and other elements.

Beyond that, Nintendo has promised the system will show 3D movie trailers, though it now seems to have fallen a bit behind schedule, as initial promises that the trailer for "Green Lantern" would be the first to be showcased have so far failed to materialize. (The film debuts on June 17.)

Expect to hear more about Game Boy and Game Boy Advance title availability in the 3DS eShop as well as when the system will be able to be used as a portable film device at E3.


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