With the popularity of Wii Fit, Brain Age, and all of the other health-conscious gimmicks Nintendo keeps implementing, it’s hard to tell if they’re simply capitalizing on untapped markets, or if they genuinely care about our wellbeing. 3DS Coins could be considered a step in either direction, but regardless, it’s an ingenious concept.
Much like the Pokéwalker packed in with the latest Pokemon games, the 3DS includes a built-in pedometer that tracks how much you walk, recording the data in its Activity Log program. Of course, Nintendo puts a twist on this stay-fit concept by rewarding pedestrians with “Game Coins”, which are used unlock content in games. Think of it as Achievement Points you earn simply by doing some real-world walking, which can later be spent on new weapons, or items, or anything else you can imagine.
‘Tis a sad day for the sedentary.
While the concept of getting gamers off their stereotypical lazy asses is certainly a noble cause, Nintendo’s true motives are far more devious and brilliant. By offering real content with Game Coins, Nintendo’s not only encouraging you to be more active, but they’re ensuring that you end up taking your 3DS everywhere you go. Couple this concept with their StreetPass tag mode, which actively trades gaming information with any 3DS you walk within range of, and you’ve got one hell of an offline social marketing tool.