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Nintendo partners with DreamWorks on 3DS video

Game company says the videos will be Halloween-themed, and the first will include characters from "Monsters vs. Aliens."

A new video featuring "Monsters vs. Aliens" characters is coming to the Nintendo 3DS.
A new video featuring "Monsters vs. Aliens" characters is coming to the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo

Nintendo has inked a content-partnership deal with DreamWorks Animation SKG and a couple other companies to bring more 3D video content to its 3DS.

According to the game company, DreamWorks will be offering two Halloween-themed animated shorts to the 3DS handheld game player. The first video, which is available for download to the portable starting today, features characters in the company's "Monsters vs. Aliens." The second short will feature the three little pigs from the "Shrek" franchise. That video, Nintendo says, will launch later this month.

Video has become a key ingredient in Nintendo's 3DS sales pitch. In April, following disappointing sales and some concern that trouble would continue, Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata told investors that his company would use a "3D video distribution service" to coax "nonactive" users into using the 3DS. The issue, Iwata said at the time, is that the 3DS' value to people is "highly individual," so offering them different opportunities to be engaged is important.

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Nintendo added that 3net, a joint venture between Discovery Communications, Sony, and IMAX, will also offer short-form video from the network's original series, "Bullproof," which chronicles the lives of four bull riders. Content from "Feeding Time," a show that takes an "up-close look at adorable animals," as well as product-promotion show, "Building the Brand," will also be available to 3DS owners.

The Blue Man Group has also agreed to offer six videos to the service, which will appear "occasionally" to 3DS owners.

Although the video content might appeal to some people, it's tough to say how much it will really help sales.

The 3DS has yet to catch on. Over the summer, Nintendo was forced to cut the price of the 3DS to $169.99 from its original $249.99 price due to flagging demand. In August, 3DS sales in the U.S. hit 235,000 units, a marked improvement over the 110,000 units Nintendo sold in the previous quarter. However, the portable's sales still trailed the game industry's current leader, the Xbox 360 console, in August. The 3DS sales are also far behind the 3DS' predecessor, the DS, at the same point in its lifecycle.