Nintendo 3DS update adds Miiverse, links to Wii U eShop

Nintendo's giving the 3DS a new lease of life ahead of Christmas with an update that adds the Miiverse social app and links the 3DS and Wii U eShops.

Nintendo's giving its three year-old 3DS a new lease of life ahead of Christmas with an update that adds the Miiverse social app and links the 3DS' eShop to that of the newer Wii U.

Firmware version 7.0 is rolling out now, adding a Miiverse icon to the folding console's lower screen, letting you share screenshots, drawings and comments while you're playing.

The eShop update means you can finally log into the 3DS with your Nintendo Network ID, so your account for buying games and other digital content is the same as on the Wii U.

Miiverse has expanded across the Wii U, a website and now the 3DS, with mobile phone apps coming soon. It's a totally family-friendly social network, with everyone represented by the cutesy Mii characters first introduced on the Wii. Drawing game characters is a particular focus for the community.

After a somewhat lacklustre start the 3DS has become one of Nintendo's most popular products, with Nintendo staples such as Pokemon, Mario, Zelda and Animal Crossing proving as popular in three dimensions as in two.

The console's hardware was updated last year with the addition of the much larger 3DS XL, with 5-inch screens instead of the original 3-inch ones. A super-simple 2DS version was introduced earlier this year, with no folding screens or 3D option, but still with the ability to play all the 3DS' games.

Unlike the sold-out next-gen consoles, Nintendo's simpler machines are all widely available, with the 3DS going for £133 from sites such as Amazon and Tesco, the 3DS XL for £150, and the 2DS for £99.

Are you still gaming on your 3DS? What do you think of Miiverse? What else would you like to see on the handheld? Play along in the comments, or on our family-friendly Facebook page.

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