Nintendo Suspends 3DS’ Swapnote/Letter Box Service
Nintendo has disabled the spotpass function of Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe), preventing 3DS users from sending messages or drawings to each other. Nintendo explained that this was done out of concern that “offensive material” had been sent to minors through the service. Nintendo is well known for being extremely cautious when it comes to the online functionality of it’s consoles, this is one of the reasons why it’s friend system is much more complicated than on other systems, however the company is clearly not satisfied that parents are making proper use of the 3DS’ parental controls. The following statement was released via Nintendo’s official website:
Thank you for your support.
Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on Internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material. Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of Swapnote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused.
Nintendo always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action.
We are very sorry for any inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly; however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this feature of Swapnote. Thank you for your understanding.
Nintendo will continue to work to ensure more consumers are aware of our Parental Control features, which allow parents to manage their children’s experience on our systems. For more information, please click here.
Service stop date: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 7 p.m. PT
Service being stopped: Nintendo 3DS software Swapnote – Sending and receiving notes using SpotPass
Affected regions: All regions where the service was offered
Special Notes services are also stopped
Nintendo has not yet stated whether the service will return at a later date.