Sadly it seems I will have to jump through several hoops in order to enjoy my new 3DS XL (buy on Amazon) on the day of purchase. I’ll be trading in my old 3DS on the day, so I’ll need to transfer all my old games and saves to the new 3DS: unlike with Apple devices, you can only have your Nintendo Network ID (NNID) active on one device at a time.
So for a start I’ll need to connect both 3DSs to Wi-Fi in the shop to do the transfer (the transfer is via bluetooth I think, but the 3DS needs to connect to the internet to verify the NNID). Hopefully this should be easy enough, as long as I can log on to the shop’s Wi-Fi.
But then it gets a bit tricky. I also need to transfer my 16 GB SD card into the new 3DS – which is a problem because the only way to get at the SD slot in the new 3DS is to take the back off with a #0 screwdriver. This seems like a ludicrous design decision considering that a huge number of new owners will have to change or update the SD card at some point, and it’s not like most people have a #0 screwdriver lying around. Even worse, there have been some reports of people shearing the screws as they try to take the console apart.
The problems don’t end there though. The new 3DS comes with a micro SD card rather than an SD card, and the standard one is only 4 GB. That means I’ll have to buy a new 16 GB (or higher) micro SD card, along with a micro SD card adapter, and then transfer the save data from my old SD card to the new micro SD card using a PC.
But possibly the most niggling question is what happens to the pre-installed game on the new 3DS. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is already saved onto the new 3DS XL – presumably on the 4 GB micro SD card – so what happens to it when I transfer my old games and swap in my new 16 GB micro SD? I checked on the forums, and some people think that you’ll be able to download the game again from the eShop after doing the transfer, but I’ve written to Nintendo for confirmation.
Most of these problems could be avoided if Nintendo copied Apple’s system and allowed you to have your NNID on multiple systems, so you could download games you’d already purchased and keep your save files in the cloud. If anything, this would be a big help if your 3DS is ever lost, broken or stolen, which sadly happened to me not long ago (thankfully, Nintendo were very helpful and sent me new versions of the downloaded games I’d lost, although I still lost all my saves and pictures). But the decision to hide the micro SD card behind a screwed-in panel seems ludicrous. It reminds me of the ill-fated Nokia N-Gage, a mobile phone/portable console that had to be dismantled if you wanted to switch games.
The folks at GAME have promised they’ll be on standby to help out with this system transfer nonsense on the day of release – fingers crossed they have some #0 screwdrivers handy. I have a feeling it will be a very long morning.