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Nintendo 3DS: Netflix in Summer, New 'Super Mario' Coming

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Along with glasses-free 3D portable video games, handheld system the Nintendo 3DS will also get streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix this summer. Free Internet access from over 10,000 AT&T WiFi hotspots will further be available to owners starting in May.

Netflix owners with a high-speed wireless Internet connection and unlimited streaming plan, which starts at $7.99 a month, can directly beam shows and films to their Nintendo 3DS system. Users can start watching a movie on their Wii, then pick up the handheld to resume viewing while on the go. The system, which supports local wireless and hotspot access, will be Nintendo’s most connected, according to President Satoru Iwata, who gave a speech at the recent 2011 Game Developers Conference.

Along with providing a software update at the end of May that will activate access to the online Nintendo eShop, the company will also launch a dedicated video service for downloading brief film clips. Using the short-form video network, players will be able to download music videos, movie trailers, comedy shorts and more.

In addition to offering an Internet browser and classic Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16 titles, available through a Virtual Console emulator service, downloadable DSiWare and 3D games will also be available for the handheld. A new 3D Super Mario game is additionally in development for the Nintendo 3DS by the popular mascot’s creator, designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Despite a greater emphasis on digital downloads and connected experiences though, Nintendo has no plans to abandon its history of rich, expansive games, says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. Facing increasing pressure from thousands of free and $0.99 games readily downloadable to smartphones on-demand, the company instead plans to redouble its efforts to deliver “exclusive, premium gaming experiences” available nowhere else.

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