Nintendo has been planning on rolling out a dedicated eBook store for their 3DS handheld gaming system for over a year. The company has officially launched it in Japan and there is a collection of 300 titles right away. This move should encourage parents to upgrade from the ultra popular DS to get their child doing something other than gaming.
In order to get started you have to download the app from the Nintendo e-Shop. The app is called “honto” and mainly has kids books and a few comics. Each title is retailing from 100 yen to 1,000 yen ($0.96 and $9.60 USD). When you download the app and buy a few books you are greeted by a very colorful UI. There is a dedicated bookshelf for all of your titles, similar to iBooks.
The Japanese gaming giant has claimed it wants to add 1,000 titles by next year and also dip their toes into accessible manga and graphic novels.
You can think of this latest store has been the 3rd attempt to launch a digital reading platform. Back in 2009 Nintendo started to get into the eBook craze by launching a cartridge based system and released a series of public domain titles in the US and UK markets. In 2012 they wanted to launch an app-based store, but their plans fell through during the summer.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.