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Nintendo to implement StreetPass relay stations by autumn

Nintendo are aware that western 3DS owners aren’t enjoying as much StreetPass success as the more compact Japan, and have come up with a novel idea to address this.

This will enable StreetPass data to be stored remotely on a server for users to receive, rather than requiring you to directly walk past other owners.

“This year we will release software that opens doors for new ways to play through the StreetPass feature, such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and I hope that more people around the world will be able to experience the benefits that StreetPass provides,” Satoru Iwata began explaining during Nintendo’s E3 2013 analyst briefing.

“We will achieve that by taking advantage of Wi-Fi access points and implementing a StreetPass relay feature into the Nintendo 3DS hardware. Starbucks and McDonald’s, among others, provide about 28,000 Wi-Fi access points, which are connected automatically to Nintendo 3DS, in the U.S. and 24,000 in Europe.”

He continued, “We are going to perform a system update that introduces a framework that uses these access points as StreetPass relay stations by this autumn.

“This will involve taking a Nintendo 3DS system in Sleep Mode to an access point which will then connect automatically and send StreetPass data to a server. At the same time, the Nintendo 3DS system also receives the StreetPass data of another user from the server.

“In this setting, data is not exchanged directly, but rather through a StreetPass relay station. Hence, as opposed to, say, Person A and Person B directly exchanging game data, data will be transmitted in sequence from Person A to Person B, and then onto Person C and so on.

“But the surprising and magical feeling of exchanging data with someone you simply shared a location with is as real as before.

“Previously the StreetPass feature required multiple Nintendo 3DS systems in Sleep Mode to be in the same location at the same time, but in this framework, you can exchange data with others by visiting the same location even at a different time, so we can certainly expect the use rate of the StreetPass feature to grow significantly.”

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