Nintendo Kills Swapnote on 3DS

Nintendo has announced that the 3DS's Swapnote feature has been shutdown and will no longer be available to users. Nintendo didn't shut the service down because it didn't work or because it wasn't popular: it shut it down in the name of protecting children. The service which allows users to exchange notes, simple drawings, and photos (using either Spotpass or Streetpass) was shut down because some users have apparently used it to share "offensive" material with others.

"Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on Internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material," the company wrote on its website.

"Nintendo always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action."

The service launched in North America in January of 2012 as a free app for the 3DS. The ability to exchange photos was introduced in April. 

Source: Nintendo


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  1. 0
    Kincyr says:

    except Pictochat couldn't be patched, as the original DS lacked firmware updates. Pictochat also wasn't online-capable. it was also completely absent from the 3DS, so the whole "almost 10 years" thing is quite moot.

    at least Nintendo made their consoles easy/cost-effective to develop for after only one generation of difficult hardware (the N64), as opposed to the 2 later generations Sony took to catch on in that regard (the PS2 didn't even have native 3D rendering, and the less said about thatgamecompany's financial woes, the better)

  2. 0
    Thipp says:

    It sounds like someone just finally clued Nintendo in to the fact that Swapnote, and its predecessor Pictochat, were mainly used for sending people drawings of dicks and such. It only took them almost 10 years, Nintendo certainly is slow to catch on…

  3. 0
    Sora-Chan says:

    I wonder if they at any point realized that the majority of the people doing the offensive material posting, was the Minors themselves.

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  4. 0
    Infophile says:

    In other news, Google recently announced that they're shutting down Gmail as they've recently learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their e-mail addresses on Internet bulletin boards and then using Gmail to exchange offensive material. </sarcasm>

    Assuming Nintendo hasn't gone completely insane, this is hopefully just a temporary measure until they can patch in Parental Control settings to allow parents to block out Swapnote (which isn't currently possible, I believe) or patch it to only disable sending of photos. But then again, Nintendo isn't exactly the most web-savvy company around, and they do take being child-friendly (but not in "that" way) to an extreme.

  5. 0
    prh99 says:

    Gotta love the punish everyone to "protect" the children mentality… so annoying. Most of these kids will probably keep doing the same thing on their cellphones etc which means this is completely ineffective.

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