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Inexcusable Shopping Experiences - An Ideal eShop

Feature
2nd December 2011; By Patrick

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the Nintendo eShop needs a lot of help. Today, I would like to describe for you my ideal eShop experience, from start to finish.


First of all, when I load it up, the load time on the current eShop is fine. It's much better than the initial load times of the DSi Shop and the Wii Shop, which are absolutely horrendous. When I launch it for the system's first time, however, I should be prompted with the option to sign up or sign in. That's right, user accounts.

User accounts are not a hard concept to grasp in any way shape or form. In fact, they really don't require that much effort at all to implement if you include them at the start of your service in the first place. An optional user account would fix at least one major problem: the necessity to type out (tap out?) your payment details for every individual purchase. Heck, it might even allow users to keep a Shopping Cart to be able to purchase in bulk!

That reminds me of another thing I would add: background downloading; and I don't mean being able to just browse the store while you're downloading. The 3DS' net infrastructure is actually much better than the eShop team seems to think it is. Why can Nintendo Video download videos without prompt while you're playing other games, while you have to sit and watch the eShop downloads go along one at a time? In fact, why is the
only SpotPass utility on the eShop to serve you advertisements, even if you already purchased the advertised product?

Speaking of which, for the advertisements, what on Earth is the harm in sending out a SpotPass notification for Thursday updates, if someone chooses to opt in? I personally wouldn't need this as I get a press release every Thursday, but many others that I know constantly ask me what came out that week -- because their 3DS' don't give them a digest summary, and they aren't around a computer. I can see why many people wouldn't want to opt in, but it would take virtually no effort at all to add in an option.

Also, for adding funds, shouldn't you be able to charge your credit card the $5.99 that your desired 3D Classic costs, instead of needing to add the minimum of $10? If you want to add in the set amounts for some reason, why not make it so that when you hit the Menu tab on any store page, you don't have to scroll for the Add Funds button!? Am I the only person who thinks that's just stupid beyond words? If you want people to give you their money, make it easy!

Finally, I would remove Nintendo's arbitrary and self-imposed limit of only being able to have 20 items on a shelf. The shelf system itself is already foolish, in my opinion, as it means that any non-featured games must be searched for manually (you must already know what you're looking for), but any category, or "shelf", must contain no more than 20 items...? That's just ridiculous, especially as many shelves contain only a handful of items! They should be able to put a list of games on there, yes?

Overall, I think I at least would be satisfied with the eShop described. What about you? Email me and let me know what you think, then check back tomorrow for my feature on the future of the eShop!

Feature by Patrick