Nintendo 3DS System Transfer – workflow fail – what were they thinking?

Nintendo System Transfer – the real world story

Nintendo now offers the ability to transfer games (purchased from Nintendo DSWare store) and some information from DSi to 3DS devices.

This function as announced when the 3DS was launched, but has only recently (December 7) become available. The absence of this function prevented me from buying a 3DS, as I’ve invested in some DSWare games that I wanted to move over to the new device.

Well now the System Transfer function is there, let’s go.

Oh. wait. There are some issues…

1. Post transfer your DSi is bricked. Trade it in.

The System transfer is a single use, one way process. After you’ve transfered all of your information, then you’ll have no further use for the DSi. It is reformated, and doesn’t even remember your name. So, you’ll want to trade it in. Thankfully EBGames will trade in a DSi and give you $70 for it.

Got to thank the EB Games staff for putting up with (and learning about) how retarded this process is. It tied up one of their staff for nearly two hours.

2. You need to install the System Transfer App from the DSWare shop before you take it to the shop to trade in.

Assuming that you want to make the transfer, then you’ll want to install this System Transfer App before you leave home.

3. Buy your new 3DS.

Make sure that the shop that you buy it at has fast Internet access via WiFi, that is available for customers, and enough power points to enable you to plug in BOTH 3DS and DSi.

4. Upgrade 3DS system software to version 3.0.0 or greater.

When you get the 3DS it will not have the required 3.0.0 system software to enable it to receive the System Transfer. You will need to turn on and then find a WiFi access point with fast access to the Internet.

If the shop doesn’t provide this capability, then you’ll need to provide your own portable WiFI access point. Connect your new 3DS to the desired access point.

You will need to plug in the portable handheld 3DS to its 240V charger before it will perform a system upgrade. Find a power plug.

On my high speed home Internet access, a 3DS system upgrade took 15 minutes. Using my Android Hotspot on a very dodgy 3G network the system upgrade took 90 minutes.

Find somewhere to stand around in the shop without looking too much like a pedo. Or go get a long lunch. Don’t forget to put your phone on silent (when using it as a portable access point) at the shop, if you decide to go for lunch.

5. Initiate System Transfer on the DSi application.

You will need to plug in the portable handheld DSi to its 240V charger before it will do a System Transfer, if it is not fully charged. Find another power plug.

6. Initiate System Transfer on the 3DS settings menu.

You need to keep the 3DS plugged in, as it isn’t properly charged yet. It has only been 90 minutes charging in the shop.

7. Wait at least 30 minutes for the System Transfer to complete.

In my case with only a few games to transfer it was completed in only 30 minutes. Some reports place this time at up to and beyond an hour.
Again, find somewhere in the shop to stand and wait. Try not too look guilty or bored.

8. Enjoy your new 3DS

Whilst the System Transfer works as advertised, clearly Nintendo has put no thought into the actual real-world transfer process.

Why would they NOT expect you to trade-in your DSi on purchase of a 3DS? It is clearly described by Nintendo that the old DSi is useless after you’ve completed the system transfer.
Why would they expect retailers to provide high speed internet access and supply masses of 240V power outlets to enable the system transfer to be done at point of sale?
Why would they expect customers to stand around in shops for at least 30 minutes, and more often 90 minutes, waiting for the system update and system transfer to finish?
Grrr! A case of workflow fail!
– End-of-Rant- 
Another commentary on how to do the transfer, but they didn’t comment on how long it takes to do the 3DS system upgrade before you can do the system transfer. They also didn’t point out that the newly purchased 3DS will need to be charging off 240 V before it will make the transfer.

Nintendo says: How to Transfer DSiWare to the Nintendo 3DS


Step by step instructions on how to perform a system transfer from the Nintendo DSi to the Nintendo 3DS.

Important Notes!

  • Before starting this process make sure you that the “Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool” has been downloaded on the Nintendo DSi. (How To)
  • To complete the system transfer you will need both your Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSi systems, the wireless data transfer application for the Nintendo DSi, and access to the Internet.
  • What To Do:

    On the Nintendo 3DS:

  • Select the System Settings icon from the HOME Menu and tap “Open.”
  • Tap “Other Settings” and then tap “System Transfer.”
  • After the system connects online, tap “Transfer from Nintendo DSi” and then “Next.”
  • Then tap “Receive from Nintendo DSi.”
  • On the Nintendo DSi/DSi XL:

  • Tap “Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool.”
  • After the system connects online, tap “Transfer to Nintendo 3DS” and then “Next.”
  • Now tap, “Send from This System.”
  • The name of the Nintendo 3DS that will receive the data will appear on the touch screen of the Nintendo DSi. Tap it to proceed.
  • On the Nintendo 3DS:

  • Tap “Yes” to confirm that you want to receive the information from the Nintendo DSi listed on screen.
  • On the Nintendo DSi/DSi XL:

  • Tap either “Full Transfer” or “Custom Transfer.”
    • Tapping “Full Transfer” will transfer the Wi-Fi Configuration Data, Photos and Recordings, and any purchased Nintendo DSiWare.
    • Tapping “Custom Transfer” will allow you to select what you want to transfer to the Nintendo 3DS.
  • After selecting what you want to transfer, tap “Transfer” and then “Next.”
  • Tap “Transfer” again to confirm each type of data that will be transferred
  • Finally, tap “Transfer” one last time to confirm the transfer and complete the process.
  • On the Nintendo 3DS:

  • After the transfer is finished, tap “System Settings” to return to the Nintendo 3DS settings menu.

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