To start off, Reggie noted that although the 3DS is going to have plenty of amazing networking features, the system exists to play games. And with that out of the way, he announced a new partnership with Netflix that would not only deliver regular streaming content to the 3DS, but also 3D movie trailers. In addition, a new short-form video on demand service will be available on the system. Reggie also confirmed that 3D video recording will be coming in a firmware update sometime this summer.
In addition to the new video features, there was also plenty to talk about with regard to the 3DS' online features. Reggie briefly mentioned both the StreetPass and SpotPass features as new social tools that developers could use to add new social facets to their games. Reggie noted that the game cartridge didn't even need to be in the 3DS unit for games to take advantage of these features, as they would passively activate when the system comes into contact with other 3DS units. He then announced that Nintendo was partnering with AT&T to open all AT&T hotspots to the 3DS hardware free of charge.
After talking about the wireless features, Reggie went on to detail the new Nintendo eShop. This new virtual storefront would include all previously released DSiWare, a 3DS Virtual Console with content from the GameBoy, Turbografix, Game Gear library - a section for classic games remastered in 3D, and a special game promotion section where users can learn about new titles coming soon. The update that includes the eShop (as well as the Internet browser) is coming in May.
Reggie then left the stage, and Iwata says some final words. He starts off with a band and confirms that Mario is coming to the 3DS soon, and shows off an in-progress logo for the new game. He points out that the logo has a tail and teases that we'll know what the tail is for when the game is formally announced at E3. He also teases that something is happening for Zelda's 25th anniversary that will bring all fans together. Interesting!
Iwata then showed off some more footage for the upcoming Skyward Sword, and went back to talking about the industry. He noted that there is more competition now than ever before, so it is important to make games both unique and social so they will stand out from the crowd. He concluded the keynote by imploring developers to make high-quality games that push the industry forward, not just capitalize on current trends. He then told everyone in attendance to "Believe in your dream," and then he left the stage.
Although the keynote speech was short on any surprising revelations, Iwata made some fairly keen observations about the industry at-large, and had some good advice for developers in the audience. Sure, Reggie's part sounded more like a 3DS commercial than keynote speech, but both parts worked well together, and Nintendo certainly got its message across about social gaming at this year's GDC.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*