1) Big surprises in the e-shop on June 5
Over the years we’ve gotten free games, firmware updates offering new functionality, and other online goodies available for download the day of Nintendo’s E3 press conference. It would not surprise me at all for Nintendo to steal Microsoft’s or Sony’s thunder by releasing something cool and unexpected in the minutes prior to their own press conferences as well, causing game journalists to scramble to download them with the folks on stage attempting to get everyone excited about their own offerings while staring down at a sea of 3DS’s. Either way, I’d say there is just about a 100% chance we’ll get something cool in the e-shop on June 5.
2) An all-new Club Nintendo
Tied in with the already unveiled Nintendo Network, my guess is that we’ll see a revamped Club Nintendo system that integrates communications (messaging, chat, and video chat), 3D picture and video sharing services, game gifting, and possibly achievement tracking. The program will include a new smartphone app that among other things will feature a “Streetpass on-the go” functionality that will support both 3DS and Wii U, allowing for collecting Streetpass hits via your phone that sync to your Club Nintendo account and automatically update to your console or handheld. Because of Nintendo’s stance on not releasing their own games for Apple’s devices, Apple will repeatedly reject Nintendo’s app in the approval process, causing Nintendo to release the app on Android OS first and exclusively for an unknown period of time. The new Club Nintendo will also feature the addition of coin rewards for completing certain “special” achievements in games–coins that can be used for redeeming rewards on Club Nintendo. Club Nintendo rewards will begin to become more “virtual” in nature as opposed to the physical goods we’ve become accustomed to, and will include full games as well as in-game content for first-party published games. Also a possibility will be a social feature that allows you to watch streaming video of other gamers during live gameplay–the feature is intended to promote the games themselves as well as support spectator mode for live game tournaments events.
3) Full-length 3D movies come to 3DS
With the continuing flood of 3D movies from Hollywood, movie studios (perhaps not including Sony) will be more than accommodating when negotiating terms with Nintendo on releasing full-length 3D motion pictures on what many consider a “gateway” device that can introduce 3D movies to consumers on a relatively low cost (yet mainstream) device. 3DS’s cumulative year-one sales may convince movie studios to take the plunge and offer game-card based 3D movies priced at $20 to $30. Otherwise, Nintendo could complete a deal with a streaming service such as Vudu that already offers 3D streaming movies (to own or rent) on set-top devices as well as built-in to TV’s using hardware that’s less sophisticated than what 3DS has under the hood.
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Thanks to Alex for sending this in.