Upgrading to the new 3DS

Bought my kid a new 3DS for his birthday, the device is great but the process to transfer between old and new is poorly documented.

The device came with a pre-installed copy of Majora’s Mask. Except, inexplicably, transferring data from an old device wipes the new device rendering the pre-installation pointless as it has to be re-downloaded. The game is tied to the hardware (not the user ID referred to as an NNID) so I’m baffled as to why.

It appears you can only register one device type to an NNID at any one time (one 3DS, one WiiU, etc.). This is alluded to by a statement on Nintendo’s eShop page: “The downloaded game can only be played on the system it is downloaded to”. I can’t see what Nintendo is getting from this, we know the eShop can identify hardware and the NNID so why restrict the download when access control could still be enforced?

The take away from this for anyone upgrading is:

  • You don’t lose the game – it needs to be re-downloaded. There is no code – it’s available in the eShop on that device.
  • Nintendo expect you to have one and only one 3DS at a time.

On the plus side I now own a 3DS. So that’s nice, although its now sat with a bunch of other stuff I really need to put on eBay but am not quite sure who would want ot buy.