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Nintendo 3DS December Firmware Update – Comprehensive Guide

Nintendo 3DS December Firmware Update – Comprehensive Guide

by Hassan AhmedDecember 7, 2011

The Nintendo 3DS firmware December Update is now out! I’m sure many of you have updated your 3DS by now, but there is just SO much added in this new update that I felt like it would be a good idea to compile every last little detail right here. If you haven’t updated, go to System Settings –> Other Settings –> System Update and update your 3DS so that it’s version 3.0.0-5U (if you’re in the US). So, let’s get right to it!

Nintendo Zone:

Some of you may notice a new app on your 3DS HOME menu: Nintendo Zone. What this allows you to do is connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot automatically. So if you bring your 3DS with you to an area with a Wi-Fi hotspot, it will connect your 3DS to the internet and you can download content via SpotPass. The Nintendo Zone app can also serve as a hub for more information on things. There are various places in the US that have Nintendo Zones, like Best Buy, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and McDonalds. Unless you’re at one of those locations with a Nintendo Zone, the app won’t do anything for you.

The Nintendo Zone serves as a portal to game trailers, 3D music videos (last I checked they had the first OK GO music video from Nintendo Video here), coupons (like 10% off a 3DS game), and more. It even connects you to the internet so you can surf the web, browse the eShop, download content via SpotPass, and even play online. There is also a “Save” function that basically bookmarks a certain page… so if you see a 3D trailer you like, you can “Save” that page so that the next time you go to a Nintendo Zone, you can easily pull it back up. It does not allow you to view anything offline however.

Some people, like myself, already had this app by opening up our 3DS at a Nintendo Zone. I know that Best Buy has coupons on their Nintendo Zone, however I have not heard any reports on what exactly the Nintendo Zones at other locations include. But at least now everyone gets to join in on the fun… so head out to one and give it a try!

Nintendo 3DS Camera:

The Nintendo 3DS Camera app now allows you to take 3D videos in addition to 3D photos! When you open up the app, just click on the camera icon to switch over to video mode. You also have the ability to shoot video in low light mode.

There are also special shooting modes for recording 3D videos. These include:

  • Interval – A frame of video will be shot at each player-set interval of time. These images will be saved as 20-frames-per-second video.
  • Stop Motion – Every time the on-screen Shoot button is tapped, one frame of video will be taken. These images will be saved as a 10-frames-per-second video.
  • Montage – Touch the record button to start filming, and touch the pause button to pause filming. When you are finished, touch Done to save all of the clips as one video.

Note that if you use a special shooting mode, audio will not be recorded. You can record videos up to a maximum of 10 minutes in length. You also have the ability to play around with the videos you record. Select the movie you want to play, and then touch it once again to view the menu. Select Edit Movie. You can now change the playback speed and audio pitch of the video, and you can even play it in reverse. When you pause the video, you have the option to Save Frame which lets you save a copy of the paused image as a photo.

Note that videos can only be saved on the SD card, not on system memory. Note that videos are the following format:

  • Video: MJPG 480×240 20.00fps 1825Kbps [Video 0]
  • Audio: IMA ADPCM 16000 Hz mono 64Kbps [Audio 1]
  • Video: MJPG 480×240 20.00fps 1807Kbps [Video 2]

Videos are saved as MJPEG data, and audio is saved in AVI format. If you convert a video to the following format as listed above, then it can play on the 3DS (provided that the video is under 10 minutes). I’m sure there will be programs to easily convert videos so be on the lookout for those. And yes, I believe I saw a report that someone successfully put a 3D video on the 3DS and it worked, so it is possible. Just need an easy converter now.

And finally, the mini version of the Nintendo 3DS Camera app that can be accessed by pressing L or R on the HOME menu also has an update. There is now a QR symbol on the bottom left corner of the screen. This can be used to scan QR codes and if you do so, it’ll display the website’s URL and prompt you to press A to switch to the 3DS Internet Browser if you want to view that website. You can also do the face merging feature in the mini app, you don’t have to open the full app to do that now.

StreetPass Mii Plaza:

The StreetPass Mii Plaza received a SIGNIFICANT upgrade with this firmware update. One of those updates is that there is now SpotPass support, claiming you can receive Mii’s via SpotPass. Currently, it’s unknown what exactly that means. Before this update, you already could receive Mii’s from games you play online like Mario Kart 7, if you enabled the invite option in the StreetPass Mii Plaza. Oh, and by the way, you cannot use those Mii’s received from online games in any of the StreetPass games.

There is now a Music Player that has all of the music from the game, and it’s unlocked as you access those parts of the game. Here’s a list of all the music tracks (I will update this as more are revealed):

  1. StreetPass Mii Plaza Entrance
  2. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 1
  3. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 2
  4. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 3
  5. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 4
  6. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 5
  7. StreetPass Mii Plaza Main Theme 6
  8. ???
  9. Puzzle Swap Title
  10. Puzzle Swap Collected Pieces
  11. Puzzle Swap Panel Complete
  12. Puzzle Swap All Panels Complete
  13. Find Mii Title
  14. Find Mii Palace Theme
  15. Find Mii Kidnapped!
  16. Find Mii Captive Mii
  17. Find Mii VentureForth
  18. Find Mii To Battle, Heroes!
  19. Find Mii Current Results
  20. Find Mii Fight On, Heroes!
  21. Find Mii Dark Room
  22. Find Mii Armored Fiend
  23. Find Mii Ultimate Ghost
  24. Find Mii Ending
  25. Find Mii II Title
  26. Find Mii II Venture Forth 1
  27. Find Mii II Venture Forth 2
  28. Find Mii II Venture Forth 3
  29. ???
  30. Find Mii II Keep Fighting, Heroes!
  31. Find Mii II Current Results
  32. Find Mii II Save the World, Heroes!
  33. Find Mii II Armored Archfiend
  34. Find Mii II Dark Lord
  35. Find Mii II Ending

I will soon be uploading recordings of each of these songs, so keep an eye out for that!

The StreetPass Mii Plaza has also been updated with “Accomplishments”, the app’s own version of achievements. There are 78 Accomplishments you can obtain, and here they are (I will update this as more are revealed):

  1. 1st StreetPass tag with a Special Mii.
  2. 10th StreetPass tag with a Special Mii.
  3. Met five male Mii characters in a row in one trip to the plaza gate.
  4. Met five female Mii characters in a row in one trip to the plaza gate.
  5. Met the same Mii 10 times.
  6. Collected 100 StreetPass tags in one day.
  7. Met Mii characters via StreetPass five days in a row.
  8. Met Mii characters via StreetPass 10 days in a row.
  9. First StreetPass tag in a while.
  10. ???
  11. Met a Mii on his or her birthday.
  12. Got a “fantastic” rating.
  13. Got 10 “fantastic” ratings.
  14. Got 50 “fantastic” ratings.
  15. ???
  16. Met Mii characters from a total of two different regions.
  17. Met Mii characters from a total of three different regions.
  18. Met Mii characters from a total of five different regions.
  19. Met Mii characters from a total of 10 different regions.
  20. Met Mii characters from a total of 20 different regions.
  21. Met Mii characters from a total of 30 different regions.
  22. Met Mii characters from a total of 50 different regions.
  23. Met Mii characters from every region in your country.
  24. Met Mii characters from a total of two different countries.
  25. Met Mii characters from a total of three different countries.
  26. Met Mii characters from a total of five different countries.
  27. Met Mii characters from a total of ten different countries.
  28. Met three in a row, all in one go, who used the same software last.
  29. Received a personal greeting.
  30. 1st StreetPass tag.
  31. 10th StreetPass tag.
  32. 50th StreetPass tag.
  33. 100th StreetPass tag.
  34. 500th StreetPass tag.
  35. 777th StreetPass tag.
  36. ???
  37. ???
  38. ???
  39. ???
  40. ???
  41. ???
  42. ???
  43. ???
  44. ???
  45. ???
  46. Plaza population reached 10.
  47. Plaza population reached 50.
  48. Plaza population reached 100.
  49. ???
  50. ???
  51. ???
  52. ???
  53. Got three identical Puzzle Swap pieces in a row with Play Coins.
  54. Completed a Puzzle Swap panel.
  55. Completed five Puzzle Swap panels.
  56. Completed seven Puzzle Swap panels.
  57. ???
  58. Made it through a room in Find Mii.
  59. Missed with a sword attack three times in a row in Find Mii.
  60. Dealt over 50 damage in a single turn in Find Mii.
  61. Broke through a yellow shield in Find Mii.
  62. Broke through a light-blue shield in Find Mii.
  63. Made it through a dark room in Find Mii.
  64. Completed Find Mii.
  65. Completed Find Mii twice.
  66. Completed Find Mii five times.
  67. ???
  68. Completed Find Mii with 30 or fewer Mii characters.
  69. Made it through a dazzling room in Find Mii II.
  70. Made it through a fiery room in Find Mii II.
  71. ???
  72. Made it through a poisonous room in Find Mii II.
  73. Broke through a shadowlight shield in Find Mii II.
  74. Completed Find Mii II.
  75. ???
  76. ???
  77. ???
  78. ???

The update also added a “System Map”. Whenever you StreetPass with someone, their region on this map will be highlighted. And in your own region, the states or areas where people reside will be highlighted.

There is also a Slideshow feature added. This will open up a puzzle that you’ve completed in Puzzle Swap. Press the A button to cycle to the next puzzle you’ve completed.

The StreetPass game Puzzle Swap has also received new puzzles! All previous puzzles were composed of 15 pieces. Now, there are new puzzles that are either 24 or 40 pieces. Here is a list of all the StreetPass puzzles (the bolded ones are new):

  1. Metroid: Other M
  2. Mario and Bowser
  3. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  4. The Legend of Zelda
  5. Kirby’s Dream Land
  6. Pikmin
  7. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  8. Mario Kart 7 – 40 pieces
  9. Donkey Kong Country Returns – 24 pieces
  10. Super Mario 3D Land – 40 pieces
  11. Pilotwings Resort – 24 pieces
  12. Star Fox 64 3D – 24 pieces
  13. Rhythm Heaven Fever – 24 pieces
  14. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – 24 pieces

When you do the system update, you will receive your first piece to a new puzzle, and the puzzle you get will depend on the region you are in, just like when you first started Puzzle Swap. Also, these new puzzles feature pink pieces that you can only receive via SpotPass, you can’t get them by using Play Coins. I believe the 40 piece puzzles have 8 pink pieces and the 24 piece puzzles have 4 pink pieces.

If you have beaten Find Mii twice, then you will now unlock Find Mii II. This sequel has you and your son and daughter (prince and princess, both also using your Mii) captured. It’s up to you to use Play Coins or get help via StreetPass to save them! Like with Find Mii, you can hire Wandering Heroes for 2 Play Coins each to help fight.

But a new feature is the ability to hire Old Allies, which means anyone you have done StreetPass with before. It does cost more coins though—just add 2 to the level number of the Mii to determine how many Play Coins it will be to hire them (for example, a level 1 Mii costs 3 Play Coins and a level 7 Mii costs 9 Play Coins). You can only hire up to 3 Old Allies. And remember, you can only venture forth with 10 heroes total (that includes Old Allies, Wandering Heroes, and any Mii’s you’ve done StreetPass with).

The new map for Find Mii II also has branching paths, so each time you go through the game, it’ll be different. There are also many new enemies in the game, including mummy’s that can scare away your Mii’s. You also have the ability to do team combos and have two Mii’s at once. This allows you to do attack combos and magic combos for increased damage. And if your two Mii’s are wearing similar colors, they also get a level bonus.

Another added feature is the ability to get potions in the game for a certain number of Play Coins. Here are the potions, their description, and their cost:

  • Vial of Valor – 8 Play Coins – Calls back heroes who have left.
  • Power Potion – 20 Play Coins – Boosts your heroes’ levels.
  • Dispelling Draft – 2 Play Coins – Blows away gas spewed by enemies.
  • Bottled Barrier – 2 Play Coins – Nullifies enemy magic.

And finally, there are a ton of new hats! Before this update, there were only 16 hats… and now this update adds 57 new hats, bringing the total to 73 hats. That’s a lot! Here’s a list of all the hats available (The new hats are bolded):

  1. Mario’s Cap
  2. Luigi’s Cap
  3. Peach’s Crown
  4. Daisy’s Crown
  5. Yoshi Hat
  6. Yellow Yoshi Hat
  7. Light Blue Yoshi Hat
  8. Pink Yoshi Hat
  9. Toad Hat
  10. Wario’s Cap
  11. Waluigi’s Cap
  12. Bowser Hat
  13. Boo Hat
  14. Shy Guy Mask
  15. Chomp Hat
  16. Blooper Hat
  17. Piranha Plant
  18. Warp Pipe Hat
  19. ? Block Hat
  20. Red Pikmin Hat
  21. Blue Pikmin Hat
  22. Yellow Pikmin Hat
  23. Link’s Cap
  24. Triforce Hat
  25. Epona Hat
  26. Samus’s Helmet
  27. Metroid Hat
  28. Kirby Hat
  29. Donkey Kong Hat
  30. Arwing Hat
  31. Fox Hat
  32. Barbara the Bat Wig
  33. Nintendo 3DS Hat
  34. NES Hat
  35. Famicom Hat
  36. Ice Cream Hat
  37. Cake Hat
  38. Tomato Hat
  39. Cheeseburger Hat
  40. Pizza Hat
  41. Hot Dog Hat
  42. Ramen Hat
  43. Soccer Ball Hat
  44. Football Helmet
  45. Swimming Cap
  46. Red Ribbon
  47. Hibiscus
  48. Tiny Top Hat
  49. Lacy Headband
  50. Beehive Wig
  51. Floral Hat
  52. Straw Hat
  53. Top Hat
  54. Pirate Hat
  55. Chef Hat
  56. Ninja Hood
  57. Samurai Wig
  58. Devil Horns
  59. Magic Hat
  60. Hatchet Hat
  61. Sunflower
  62. Panda Hat
  63. Bear Hat
  64. Penguin Hat
  65. Cat Ears
  66. Dog Ears
  67. Bunny Ears
  68. Regal Crown
  69. Prince’s Crown
  70. Princess’s Crown
  71. Ultimate Helmet
  72. Dark Lord Helmet
  73. Dark Emperor Helmet

I’ll update this with images of every hat later, so keep an eye out for that!

Nintendo eShop:

The Nintendo eShop has a few new features! First off, you’ll notice that it loads and browses faster now, which is nice. But there are a few new features that will make purchasing items even easier.

First, you can now store your credit card information so you don’t have to enter it every time. As a security measure, whenever you add funds you need to enter a 4-8 digit code. If you mess up three times in a row, the credit card info is deleted from the system. Second, there is now a Redeem Download Code option in the eShop settings. Third, you can now purchase things for their exact amount, rather than being forced to spend a bundled amount of points. If you try to download something and you don’t have enough, there is an option to add only the necessary amount for the purchase.

There are also some little changes made as well. Any information pages for games on the eShop now display the number of reviews the game has, along with the star rating. The game pages also now have everything arranged in a line now and the screen scrolls left and right (this is probably because of the future demo icon that will eventually be there, see below for details on demos). The section of the eShop with retail titles now is named “Not available in Nintendo eShop”. And also, you can now set a filter for the New Software arrivals screen, so now you can look at only new Virtual Console games or only new DSiWare games if you want.

The final big new option is that there is now a Download Later option. This will put your downloaded software in a queue (that can have up to 10 titles) to be downloaded via SpotPass. This allows you to download software while you continue to browse the eShop, play games, and even when you put your 3DS in Sleep Mode. The exception to this is that you cannot download software in Sleep Mode while the eShop, Nintendo Zone, or any DS/DSi software is active. It also won’t work if you’re playing a 3DS game online, though if you’re playing a 3DS game offline, then it’ll download. As the software is downloading, it’ll show up as a blinking present on the HOME menu.

Also, if you select to Download Now and the download process fails for some reason, it will automatically continue via SpotPass when you quit the eShop and enter Sleep Mode. And if you select Download Later and change your mind, just go to the software on the eShop and you can select Download Now by redownloading it from the Title Information screen.

Oh yea, one more thing! The Nintendo eShop can now include demos! Currently,Japanhas 7 different demos, including Monster Hunter Tri G, Cooking Mama 4, Dead or Alive Dimensions, and more. These demos have limits to the number of times they can be played (for example, the Monster Hunter Tri G demo can only be played 30 times). These demos are found on the Japanese eShop in their own folder when you sign in, or in their respective games’ pages when you search for those games. Nintendo of Europe’s press release for this update specifically mentioned that demos are coming, though none are available yet. In theUS, there are also none available yet, but there’s a chance they may appear with the regular eShop update on Thursday.

Friend List:

If you bought Super Mario 3D Land or Mario Kart 7, then you already got this part of the update. The Friend List now displays your online friends first. You can also access the Register Friend button in the top right corner of the touch screen no matter where you are in the Friend List. The update also features a “Join Game” button so that if your friend is online in a compatible game (the only one at the moment being Mario Kart 7), then you can click on Join Game and play with them online right from the Friend List. What’s also nice is that if you are on the HOME menu and your friend is in an online game where you can join in, then there will be an orange icon (similar to the blue and green ones for SpotPass and StreetPass) on the Friend List icon.

System Settings

The System Transfer feature in the System Settings is now live! With this, you can transfer data from one Nintendo 3DS to another. So if you get a new Nintendo 3DS, you can use the System Transfer feature to transfer your content to the new 3DS. But what does it transfer? EVERYTHING! Your Friend Code, Ambassador status and games, downloaded games, save data, Activity Log info, photos and videos, Mii data, Nintendo eShop balance, etc. Even the size and arrangement of the icons on the HOME menu! In essence, it’s like your new 3DS is your old 3DS just with a new outside cover, and then your old 3DS becomes like a fresh new 3DS.

Note that this requires an internet connection. You can also transfer data up to five times… after that, the data cannot be transferred again. All the data is transferred in one batch, adding any new software after the transfer won’t change the number of available transfer.

One last thing of note in the System Settings section is in the Data Management area. If you select Nintendo 3DS, there is now a third option next to “Software” and “Extra Data” and it says “Add-On Content”. Now, games on the eShop can support DLC, so this is where their data can be viewed.

Misc. Content:

  • 3DS Internet Browser was updated from version 1.7412 to version 1.7455. No noticeable changes, though my guess is that it has to do with the QR code functionality that can take you to a web page.
  • If you’re wondering where messaging is… well, it was never announced for this update. Messaging will be happening and it’ll be in the form of a free app called Swapnote that can be downloaded on the Nintendo eShop. It’ll release sometime this month.
I hope you found this guide helpful! I’ll continue to update it with the accomplishments and hats from theStreetPassMiiPlaza, and any other details I find. Please let me know if there is anything incorrect or missing, and I’ll change it. Now go out and enjoy the new features!
Thanks to dakranii for posting some additional details I missed in the comments!
About The Author
Hassan Ahmed
In June 2008, Hassan was offered a position at NintendoFuse, and he accepted it right away. He is a big Nintendo fan, and has owned every handheld since the Game Boy Color and every console since the Nintendo 64. Hassan's philosophy is very simple: "fun". He plays video games to escape from life for a while and just relax and enjoy. As a blogger, Hassan's focus is to provide the most detailed news articles and hands-on impressions that you will find anywhere. The more information that he can provide to the fans and readers, the better. And to further expand on his philosophy of fun and his detail-oriented goal, Hassan started up the NintendoFuse Podcast in September of 2009. Hassan has been blogging for NintendoFuse since June 2008, and he enjoys being a part of this wonderful community. He hopes to provide you with the latest and greatest Nintendo news and rumors, as well as hands-on impressions, with as much detail as possible to benefit the fans and readers.
  • Steve
    December 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, way to go, Hassan! Great guide!!

  • December 8, 2011 at 12:28 am

    This is a really great guide.  Very well written and very informative.  Great job!

  • dakranii
    December 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Nintendo Zone is also at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and McDonalds

    • December 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Do you know if those are Nintendo Zones or just free Wi-Fi hotspots? I know they have free Wi-Fi hotspots so you can connect to the internet, but at Best Buy, the Nintendo Zones actually let you do more… like view game trailers and things.

  • December 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks for compiling this great guide Hassan!

  • Dan
    December 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    How do you get spot pass miis? do you play mk7 to get it? Can you play ssf4 to get it? 3437 3137 2936 add me.

    • December 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      You get Mii’s via SpotPass from playing certain online games like Mario Kart 7, because that game uses Mii’s online. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition does not. If you want to add people, my best suggestion is to head on over to our forums: That’s where I have my Friend Code posted and we have a bunch of others who did as well, and we play Mario Kart 7 online often. Check it out!

  • Kyschlagel
    December 19, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I’ve downloaded the update, but I don’t have the music player in my MiiPlaza. I have the acheivements, but no music player… I’ve seen other people post about this, but nobody has responded. Do I need to use an internet enabled 3DS game for this option to appear- like how the SpotPass Miis won’t appear until then? Any info you guys have would be great!

    • December 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      That’s really interesting, I haven’t heard about that. What region is your 3DS set to? I have heard reports of certain things like the map missing for certain regions… maybe for some odd reason, the music player won’t be active in certain regions. The other possibility is that the music player is only unlocked after you’ve completed Find Mii twice… have you done that? You unlock Find Mii II once you beat Find Mii twice, so maybe you also get the music player then.

  • December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I love how my Mii and comment is in the photo!  My dude is famous!

    Great guide!

  • December 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I just wish I know how to do this updates. I will have to wait till my friend comes to help me.

  • Xpat_1761
    March 24, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Holy sh*t! my 3ds first version doesnt have the updates this is so enving!!

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