Game Systems Handheld Entertainment Nintendo DS/DSi/3DS

Nintendo 3DS eShop: DSiWare Transfers from DSi to 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS eShop is officially open for business.  In this article, we’ll discuss how to move your DSi settings and content over to your 3DS.

Getting Started

On your DSi, go to the Shop.  You’ll need to get the free Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool and have it available.  This appears on your system like any other DSiWare title.

On the 3DS, you need to jump to your Settings, then Other Settings and finally System Transfer.

Full or Custom?

Once you begin the transfer process, you will have two options:  Full or Custom.

Full transfer does exactly that – copies everything (INCLUDING YOUR WIFI CONNECTION ID!!) to the 3DS.  It copies your photos too.  Of course, it transfers you DSiWare titles too – whether you’ve got them downloaded or not.  Those that are not in residence on your DSi will have their “download ticket” transferred to the 3DS – enabling you to download the title on the 3DS from the eShop.  Once transferred, all of this information is REMOVED FROM YOUR DSi!  You have been warned.

Custom transfers allow you to pick (albeit one at a time) what you transfer over.  You can elect to just transfer over a single DSiWare title or just the photos, etc.  I recommend doing this a couple times – just to see what your options are other than doing a full system transfer.

How Does It Work?

First off – this is not a peer to peer event.  You MUST have access to the internet on BOTH machines to make this happen – so you must have the internet connection up and running.

In Full transfer, you will see a running count of how many things have been transferred vs. how many are left e.g. 20/33 or 10/25.

The top screen is your “progress indicator” – Nintendo style.

As the transfer initiates, a scrolling field of pikmins running appears.  Once the connection has been made properly to the internet, the pikmin run to a large icon representing your content on the left side of the screen.  This might show up as an icon (if the DSiWare was on your DSi at the time) or a ? box (if you bought the game, but it isn’t on your DSi system at that time).

As the transfer continues, the pikmin will pick up appropriate sized chunks of your item and drag it across the screen to the right side, representing your 3DS.  Once the pieces are all put together, the pikmin will flip the icon over into a present icon, and it will now appear on your main screen.

In Custom mode, you will have the opportunity to transfer another title or quit.

Transfer times vary depending on if you’re transferring a ticket or the actual game – and it wiill totally depend on your connection speeds.

Regardless of which mode you use, some DSiWare cannot be transferred.  See below.  Also, in either mode, if you lose connectivity or get an error (or if you just forgot to plug one of the units into power and one of them died in the middle) the process on the 3DS will resume.  Very nice!

Where Are They?

If you moved tickets over instead of the full game, you might wonder: how do I know what to redownload?

Not a problem.  Nintendo buried what you need, but we show you right where the list of your authorized purchases are.  (Hint: Look under Settings / Other):

What We Like

The pikmin party is fantastic.  if you have a large title to transfer or your connection is slow, the pikmin run past a percentage indicator to let you know how far along you are.  This is fantastic Nintendo flare and it is what we’ve come to expect from them.

The fact we can do this at all is huge.  Most of us were expecting to take it in the tailpipe and lose our DSiWare content when we moved to the 3DS.  Big thanks to Nintendo for making this possible.

The process is easy and effective.

What We Don’t Like

The process takes a long time even with a fast connection.  The animations are cute – but if you have 75 items to move over, then plan to make an afternoon or evening out of it.

Some items will not transfer over – presumably due to licensing issues.  While the originally published list was a laundry list of titles, the “final” list represented a much smaller set of untransferrables.  However, even if the item isn’t on the list – the games may still not transfer over.  At the time of writing, I was unable to transfer the one real game I care about: Pinball Pulse.  Perhaps the games haven’t been added yet (in fact, the DSi will tell you that you can’t move the game over because it isn’t in the eShop).  Let’s hope this gets fixed quickly.

Here is the last list of untransferrables we saw:

* Asphalt IV
* Earthworm Jim
* Flipnote Studio
* Let’s Golf
* Nintendo DSi Browser
* Oregon Trail
* Real Soccer 2009
* Real Soccer 2010
* Sudoku Student

This really should have been a different process.  You should be able to hop on Club Nintendo, click a few buttons to transfer ownership and be done with it.  Unfortunately, you have to go through a huge ritual.

Finally – Nintendo requires that DSiWare be run from system memory — again.  You cannot store and run games from the SD card — again.  Didn’t you guys learn anything?  Sigh.  Let’s hope we get an update to this issue soon.

I’d love to hang out, but I want to see what Dragon’s Lair looks like on the 3DS …

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

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