Two of the Nintendo 3DS’ wireless features have been spotlighted recently, but what are the differences between StreetPass and SpotPass?

Here’s quick run-down:

StreetPass is the final name given to the 3DS’ communication by way of simply passing by someone. It allows the automatic exchange of data with other players while your 3DS is closed in sleep mode. The specific games doing the exchange don’t have to be in the system at the time, meaning that as long as you have save data on your system, you’ll be all set. When the device is communicating, there will be an active indicator light in the upper right-hand side of the 3DS. At any time you can check the system’s ‘Notice List’ to see past communications that took place.

SpotPass is Nintendo’s implementation that allows 3DS communication with Wi-Fi access points. This feature is more for the automatic downloading of things such as rankings, ghost data, and free software. The system will allow you to configure the kinds of things you want transferred in this manner. This feature can also be active while in sleep mode.

In Japan, NTT East and NTT West will team-up to give 3DS users access to Wi-Fi access points. There will be approximately 2,000 access points in train stations, airports, and restaurants. Also, current DS Station kiosks will be converted to full Nintendo Zone services. One would expect similar deals will be made in other regions of the world as well.


Nintendo 3DS notification LED

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