Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has thrown doubts over previous claims that the 3DS eShop will arrive in time for the handheld’s launch.
The eShop – which is the handheld’s new online games portal – will install in 3DS devices via a system update, according to previous claims from Nintendo.
Nintendo previously said a system update will be available on launch day.
But doubts are now thrown over that previous claim, with Iwata telling investors that the 3DS’ first system update “is scheduled for late May, at almost the same time around the world.”
The theory now is that, with the 3DS hitting retail worldwide between February and March, the online games portal won’t arrive in time for launch.
The eShop is Nintendo's digital marketplace for the new handheld, where developers can distribute games, demos and trailers.
As a successor to the DSi’s own digital store, it is thought that the eShop will include some content already available on DSiWare.
Iwata admitted that the DSiWare and WiiWare channels had not been promoted or supported as much as they should have been.
“So far, Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop, which are based on internet-browser technology, have not provided the users with a sufficiently easy and accessible interface because switching from one screen to another takes time and, for Wii, promotions by Nintendo Channel and sales at Wii Shop Channel have not been closely linked," he explained.
"As it is critical in digital software distribution that the software available there won't be buried and go unnoticed, and that we can prepare pleasant encounters for consumers, we will be running a drastically redesigned shop for Nintendo 3DS in which you can more comfortably purchase software through downloads."