updated 10:18 pm EDT, Wed May 14, 2014
Gaming company's first app available on select phones, limited to single carrier
Nintendo has announced that it is releasing a 3DS tethering application for Android tomorrow in Japan. The app surfaces as one of the first expansions by the gaming company after posting lower than expected numbers in its most recent financial report. While the free app isn't one that many users wanted to see, it gives credence to the idea that Nintendo is trying to look to other avenues to help rebuild its brand.
For the moment only one device is supported by the tethering app, the Samsung Galaxy S5 SC-04F. Support for additional devices is said to be coming, but only a select number of new devices have been listed as supporting the app from May to the end of June. Devices on the immediate horizon include phones like the Sony Xperia Z2 SO-03F and the Arrows NX F-05F and tablets like the Aquos Pad SG-06F.
The application will only be compatible with the devices on mobile carrier NTT Docomo. Connections between the 3DS or 3DS LL and the Android device uses the WPS protocol to give a connection when not in range of Wi-Fi. Named "Easy Tethering for 3DS," the app will be available to download on the Google Play store. Users who download the app and fill out a survey will qualify for a free virtual console game code for the 3DS.
With the release of the app Nintendo gives itself an opportunity to test the Android market before making a decision to go all in. A Nintendo spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the Easy Tethering app is not the company's first, pointing out that Docomo was handling the release of the app.
There is another app set to be released in the future as a companion to Mario Kart 8 when it is released at the end of the month. Unfortunately the app won't be any sort of game, but rather a tool to help players check statistics and watch videos.