Nintendo officially said that it would introduce paid DLC on the 3DS a while ago and according to various sources, the company has plans to start doing so quite soon. According to Andriasang, a Nikkei report states that Fire Emblem for the 3DS will be the first title in Nintendo’s latest portable console to receive paid downloadable content. If this happens, the new Fire Emblem (titled Fire Emblem: Kakusei, which can be directly translated as Fire Emblem: Awakening) will be the first game to receive DLC on the handheld.
Additionally, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata officially announced that Fire Emblem is going to come out on April 19 in Japan, but he didn’t confirm any plans involving downloadable content yet. The game was announced at a special event held by Nintendo that took place in Japan and even though the previous event focused exclusively on the 3DS, this one also focused on the Wii.
The Nikkei reports hasn’t specified the content or the price of the package, but considering what Iwata has previously said about DLC, those details are quite uncertain. When talking about downloadable content he stated that Nintendo shouldn’t focus on small additions such as stat increase, as according to him, trying to sell this type of content may be detrimental to the company and the relationship it has with its customers. Furthermore, he referred to the free-to-play model and basically said that Nintendo won’t be applying this business model any time soon.
To purchase premium content, players will be able to use prepaid cards or credit cards, as this was recently made possible by a 3DS firmware update. It has also been reported that other publishers will make use of this functionality, but they are probably waiting for other companies to do so, before taking any major risks themselves. Finally, and apart from announcing Fire Emblem, Iwata confirmed Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D for March 8, 2012 and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for March.
Although I really enjoy playing Fire Emblem titles, the main reason why I chose to write this article was because getting DLC in portable consoles seems like a great idea and I’m pretty sure that in the near future this will become much more common. It would be awesome if you could get more missions for games like Monster Hunter or Pokémon as not only does this extend the life of the title, but also provides something refreshingly new to keep you engaged. It is worth pointing out that multiple PlayStation Portable games had DLC, like Little Big Planet or Rock Band: Unplugged. On Sony’s handheld, pricing became an issue as some specific packs were overly expensive, but the idea seemed great at the time and I hope it becomes the new standard as this is beneficial to both developers and consumers.