3DS to be more flexible with firmware upgrades

Nintendo has plans for the 3DS that won’t be evident when it comes out, but even early adopters will still be able to enjoy further down the road.

While the Nintendo DSi is able to connect online, download new apps, and update its internal system software, it still pales in comparison to the “future-proof” models the Xbox 360 and PS3 have been able to employ. That’s thanks in part to limited software and online capabilities but also because it still is linked to the original DS hardware, which came out nearly seven years ago.

With 3DS, there will be a clean break, allowing Nintendo to make it a much more appealing system that will allow early adopters and late adopters alike to have the same experience. It also opens up the door for new experiences that aren’t even in the pipeline yet.

There are already major updates planned – like a downloadable games store, Web browser, and Netflix app – which won’t be available when the 3DS goes on sale on Sunday, but wil be later on. And Nintendo wants the process to be as easy as possible.

Unlike the PS3 or Xbox 360, which disrupts the gaming experience to download updates – and, in the case of the 360, once forced customers to either buy new hardware if they wanted to keep playing online – Nintendo will allow system upgrades to happen while the 3DS is in standby mode. So while you’re sleeping or taking a break, your 3DS will be updated for you.

Nintendo 3DS producer Hideki Konno made these comments in a Wired.com interview, where he talked about specific ideas that could be added to the system over time.

For example:

– Text Chat

– Downloadable Game Demos

– Downloadable Game Sales

There are countless other potential opportunities for system upgrades and new features, and it seems like Nintendo is committed to making that happen this time around.