happy monday system

A Careless Omission

We’ve started a new miniseries on the podcast (primarily) focused on our thoughts on the current generation of game consoles. This week’s episode is focused on the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, and I noticed something we forgot to talk about during the episode while editing: StreetPass.

StreetPass was one of the tentpole features of the 3DS when it was announced. Take your 3DS with you day-to-day and exchange data with people you pass by on your way to and from work. The data can be as mundane as just a Mii and a greeting, but any game you own can also choose to exchange data, and sometimes it really adds to the game. The games in the Youkai Watch series have a building where each apartment belongs to a random person you StreetPassed with. In their apartment, you can battle them and get the chance to befriend youkai in their party. This kind of stuff is awesome to me, since the Mystery Gift battle data you could exchange over the Game Boy Color’s infrared port was one of my favorite features of Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal, but unless you took the time to line your Game Boys up and trade your data manually, it just wasn’t going to happen.

While it is an interesting feature and a clever way to incentivize you to take your 3DS out of the house more often, it does fail catastrophically outside of densely populated urban areas. I can occasionally hit my maximum of 10 StreetPasses just by walking a kilometre to and from my neighbourhood grocery store when I’m in Yokohama, but I’m lucky if I get a single StreetPass from an entire day out here in Trois-Rivières. At least out here, StreetPass is a much better idea on paper than in practice, but I guess that can be said for a lot of what Nintendo’s putting out these days.

I’m looking forward to discussing Sony and Microsoft’s systems with Luc-Olivier in upcoming episodes, however, for the next episode we’re taking a trip to the past and talking about my love for retro consoles and my recent attempt to consolidate my modern and retro gaming setups into one. Look for it coming out on January 24th.