Since Nintendo of America has been creating a trend of being late to release awesome stuff in America that has already been released in other countries, why not take the easy way out for the one thing every Nintendo fan is drooling at the mouth for over here? That’s right, release Hyrule Historia as an “eShop eBook” of sorts! Sounds amazing, right? Well, how about they don’t take the easy way out? Release an upgraded version of Hyrule Historia with 3-D models, videos, and all sorts of crazy, imaginative stuff. Now THAT is an eShop app I’d like to see!
As Katharine briefly discusses, I think an individual’s desire for apps is largely based on their exposure to them. Before my days as a card-carrying iPhone fanatic, I could take or leave apps and their many wonders but as soon as I actually got a device that could run apps, suddenly they become second nature to you. From juggling my inbox to setting alarms to reading ebooks, checking cinema times and playing lots of games, apps are as varied as they are useful.
They key difference between the 3DS and traditional smartphones and tablets is definitely in the fact that no matter how versatile the 3DS is in terms of entertainment, I’m only ever going to turn it on to play games. While my phone is perpetually in my pocket and so has become my primary method of tweeting, Facebooking and general communicating beyond talking, there’s no way I’m going to go to my 3DS to check my calendar or do other really niche things unrelated to gaming. I’m never going to check the weather on my 3DS, just like I was never going to check the news on my Wii. If Nintendo wants apps to be a success it needs to understand the unique aspects of its tech and try to connect them to mainstream social avenues.
What that means in real terms is securing Twitter and Facebook apps for the system as well as overall software for both. Take a great photo with the 3DS’s camera? Upload it to Facebook. Come first in 150CC Special Cup? Let all your followers now by tweeting about it. Beyond the basics, apps such as Instagram which have already cemented themselves firmly as smartphone staples could be easily adopted by the flash cameras of the 3DS to create unique hipstertastic pictures of one’s lunch in eye-popping 3D.
All of this sounds pretty good and even to have some potential with the promise of Wii U to be a much more social experience from the ground up but when Nintendo has announced that neither Twitter or Facebook will feature, with the company instead opting for their own social network, I think we may be a fair sight off yet.
And Mel, there’s already an app for a lot of devices that can listen to a song and tell you what it’s called! I use one called “Shazam”. Purely for the name of course.
I’d have to agree with what Adam and Katharine have already said; the best 3DS apps would be the ones that are specifically related to gaming. Sure, it would be nice to have a dedicated YouTube or Twitter app to play around with in between game sessions (especially if the former supported 3D videos), but I can’t see too many 3DS owners whipping out their consoles to tweet or to watch a quick video when they can do that just as easily– if not more so– from their phones. An app would have to play to the 3DS’s strengths in order to prove its usefulness, which is why I think it would have to incorporate some kind of game-related functionality into its design.
The upcoming version of Animal Crossing would really benefit from a supplementary app.
With that in mind, an app that I’d personally love to see come to the eShop is an Animal Crossing event calendar. If you’ve been following the series since it first debuted, you’ll remember that the GameCube title had a variety of different journals that you could buy which kept track of the game’s holidays and special events. The DS and Wii followups got rid of these journals without offering a replacement for them, leaving you with no way to check what events were coming up in your town (without having to consult the Internet, of course).
I imagine this will also be the case with the 3DS version, so what better way to compensate for that than with a supplementary calendar app? The app would be free to download for anyone who owns a copy of the game (much like the Dragon Quest companion tool is free for those who’ve purchased Dragon Quest X), and it would mimic the basic functionality of the GameCube journals: you could view upcoming holidays, jot down notes, keep track of what days you’ve visited your town, and even set reminders for certain events you don’t want to miss. And if Nintendo was feeling particularly ambitious, it could even make it so that you can send out letters to your friends, Swapnote-style, inviting them to your town on a specific day, all without having to access the game. Not only would this play up the communication aspect of the series, but it would help encourage players to check their consoles daily, which I’m sure is what Nintendo ultimately wants to accomplish with every game it creates.
Now that you’ve read our thoughts, we turn the question unto you, dear reader: what are some apps you’d like to see come to the eShop? Let us know in the comments section!
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