Nintendo will quietly release a new app called Easy Tethering for Nintendo 3DS on a small selection of Android-based gadgets in Japan from Friday.
The app will allow 3DS and mobile users on the Japanese network NTTDoCoMo to link the handheld games device to their smartphone to get a wireless access point wherever data coverage is available.
This means Nintendo portable players and social networkers will not be restricted by the 3DS’ dependence on a WiFi network when playing online multiplayer games, communicating with friends or using streaming media apps. Of course data restrictions may apply and quality of signal can be a factor, but it’s useful to have an ‘always there’ connection.
It also shows Nintendo’s acceptance to at least dip its toe in the mobile scene. Developing an app for Android devices isn’t exactly making games for mobile as investors would like to push the company into, but it’s an acknowledgement of the potential of the platform towards evolving business. And let’s not forget that Nintendo is also launching a mobile service for its upcoming Mario Kart 8 too.
Easy Tethering for Nintendo 3DS will be launching tomorrow for the following smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S5 SC-OF, Sony Xperia A2 SO-04F, Sony Xperia Z2 SO-03F, Sharp Aquos Zeta SH-04, Arrows NX F-05F – and also the Sharp Aquos Pad SH-06F.
The app will launch as a trial for these devices on Google Play before it becomes more widely available in coming months and gamers who install it will be welcome to free games through the Nintendo Virtual Console.
As of yet there’s no word on if or when the app will launch in other global territories.