Five years late, 3DS StreetPass finally accepts more than 10 Miis at a time

September 1, 2016 by Kris Ligman

So many E3s, squandered.

As someone with a chunky, small, first generation 3DS, I have put a lot of time and attention into this little handheld console. I used to carry it with me on walks for no other reason than to make use of its pedometer. I brought it to every industry conference and convention I attended. I nagged coworkers to bring theirs so we could reliably StreetPass each other at our desks.

Lately, though, I haven't been doing that. I barely get any StreetPasses when I'm out and about now, which (for the unfamiliar) are sort of like collecting little calling cards from other 3DS users you travel within range of. Even at this past June's E3 -- formerly a huge hotspot for StreetPasses -- I seemed to barely get any of the things, even from walking from one end of the west expo floor to the other. I barely even got any from Nintendo's own booth, which should be damning enough.

Even when you do happen to collect a lot of StreetPasses, however, the 3DS makes it into such a hassle to go through them it's barely worth the trouble. You can only view 10 StreetPassed Miis (other players' avatars) at a time, even if the 3DS detects there are more nearby. Each StreetPassed Mii needs to be greeted, and if you're extremely diligent, you also need to extract puzzle pieces and whatnot from them for StreetPass Plaza's various minigames. (I'm partial to Warrior's Way, where you're a warlord recruiting StreetPassed Miis into a bloodthirsty army hellbent on total world domination. It's adorable.) Even with a fast-forward button, these encounters take a long time, and the cap on 10 Miis makes no sense, since the hardware can obviously detect when there are more StreetPasses queued.

So -- five years after the launch of the hardware, after most owners have stopped bothering even taking the things with them anymore -- Nintendo has finally raised the Mii cap from 10 to a generous 100. The news comes via the company's latest Nintendo Direct, and it takes effect immediately, though you need to have upgraded to StreetPass Plaza Premium to take advantage of it. That's a $5 purchase from Nintendo's eShop.

If that's not an option for you, the standard edition StreetPass Plaza has received an overhaul to include a "Quick Plaza," which allows you to go through StreetPasses faster. And there are five new minigames out as well: Slot Car Rivals, Feed Mii, Ninja Launcher, Mii Trek, and... Market Crashers? Uh. That one definitely sounds like something for older players, just saying.

You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct video below, or just dust off your 3DS and embark on the long software update process on your own. Who knows, maybe this will even encourage more players to carry their devices around again? Just in time for PAX, too!

(The StreetPass Plaza announcement arrives about 8:30 minutes in.)