Nintendo 3DS will auto-update to block piracy attempts says CEO

Nintendo is planning to use the 3DS' sleep-WiFi functionality, SpotPass, to deliver and install automatic firmware updates, which will in part be used to combat game piracy.  Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata told investors in a Q&A earlier this week that the automatic updates were one of the approaches the company was exploring, Andriasang reports, taking advantage of the 3DS' larger ROM than previous models.

"As part of the functionality of SpotPass, we're looking into having automatic system updates via the internet" he explained.  However, the anti-piracy measures would be secondary to adding new 3DS functionality, Iwata emphasized, saying Nintendo "believed this to be doable because the usable ROM size for the 3DS would become much larger."

While previous iterations of Nintendo portables have been firmware upgradable, Iwata said that the company had found that it was relatively rare that gamers actually triggered the manual updates.  SpotPass – which will also download rankings, news updates and even games while the Nintendo 3DS is in sleep mode, with minimal impact on battery life promised – will remove the user intervention required.