In what has come as quite a shocking and surprise move, overnight Nintendo has announced that they are disabling the SpotPass feature on the free Letter Box (known as Swapnotes in the US) app for the Nintendo 3DS. The service allowed gamers who had each others 3DS’ friend codes added to exchange drawings, pictures and short messages with one another. Nintendo often sent out special letters to 3DS owners through the service about the latest games and so forth too.
Nintendo have decided to disable the feature after discovering that many minors have been sharing their 3DS friend codes online and then sending offensive material to one another. The full statement from Nintendo can be seen below:
“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”
Letter Box was first released for the Nintendo 3DS during December of 2011. Did you still use the service, how do you feel about this move?