Nintendo 3DS owners will get free Wi-Fi access at 25,000 locations around the U.S., starting Tuesday.
The wireless access will be available at nearly 200 malls owned by Simon Property Group, Nintendo said today, as well as in more than 1,000 Best Buy locations. Nintendo has also inked a deal that will allow 3DS owners to connect to AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots at no charge.
"With thousands of free Wi-Fi access points through our alliances, Nintendo 3DS users across the country can instantly enjoy one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences wherever and whenever they like," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement.
The ability for people to connect to Wi-Fi hot spots for free from the 3DS is an important step in making the device more attractive to consumers. People are often away from their home wireless network when playing games on the portable device. And having the ability to connect to the Web to extend the device's uses is increasingly important as Nintendo rolls out new services.
Earlier today, the company announced the launch next week of a software update that includes the addition of a new content marketplace, called eShop, and a Web browser. According to Nintendo, eShop will feature movie trailers, video games, and other content that can be downloaded to the 3DS. The device's browser will support the viewing of 3D content.