We here at Potaku love streetpasses. If we meet up and one of us hasn’t brought his 3DS along, he is shamed. Shamed, I say!
Streetpasses are grossly absorbing when they really shouldn’t be. It’s fun to see that green light pop up on your 3DS and see how many other 3DS owners you’ve passed that day. You collect puzzle pieces from them to make pictures of games on the console, and you enlist the help of their Mii in a simple dungeon quest in which your reward is fancy hats. Everybody loves hats!
But, certainly in Australia and perhaps in other countries outside of Japan, the amount of streetpassing we actually do is very minimal. When I go through the city on an average day I might get five or six streetpasses, and one of those is either Doc or Cakesmith (sometimes both!). Compare this to ShiggyNinty’s experience in Japan:
‘Streepasses were insane. I went from having 100 people (in the Streetpass Plaza) to 650 in about a week and a half. Everyone seemed to have it and I constantly had to clear out my 3DS just to only clear it out again 5 minutes later.’
Pretty big difference between the experiences there. The most I’ve ever seen was at last years EB Expo, which would be expected from a gathering of gamers. But that would have been a daily occurence in Japan! It’s rare for us to actually reach the limit of ten unchecked streetpasses, and outside of the city, you’re lucky to get even one streetpass. Our 3DS’ are so lonely.
That might hopefully change a bit in the future, though. In Nintendo’s analyst briefing at E3 Satoru Iwata outlined how the company plans to breathe more life into the streetpass system for players outside of Japan. The way it works is simple. Wi-fi access points will be introduced to places like Starbucks and McDonalds. When you take a 3DS to one of these locations, the console connects and communicates with the access point. Your streetpass data is sent into the access point, and the data of another 3DS user who has visited previously is sent to your 3DS.
So it’s like an indirect streetpass, shared across time. The two people were still in the same place, but separated by hours or even days. Iwata added ‘the surprising and magical feeling of exchanging data with someone you simply shared a location with is as real as before.‘ I don’t know about any magical feeling, but if this means more pink puzzles pieces and more hats, I’m all for this.
‘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.’
Nintendo will be introducing 28,000 of these access points in the U.S., and a further 24,000 across Europe. There’s been no mention on when, if ever, such a feature might come to Australia, but for the sake of completing Puzzle Quest I seriously hope they consider us in future plans.