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Nintendo planning stealth updates for 3DS

Nintendo is planning to sneakily update the firmware on its forthcoming 3D handheld console while the gaming device is to all intents and purposes asleep.

Asked whether Nintendo's impending - if already tardy - 3DS gaming gadget would be using anti-piracy measures over the Internet, the Japanese outfit's CEO Satoru Iwata let slip: "As part of the functionality of SpotPass, we're looking into having automatic system updates via the internet."

SpotPass is Nintendo's technology for updating player rankings and notifications via Wi-fi while the hand-held console is not in use.

Any attempt to circumvent piracy by automatically updating the firmware without notifying the user is bound to meet with a barrage of complaints from digital rights groups and individual users alike.

Nintendo has attempted to seed piracy-busting firmware updates to legacy DS consoles in the past but says that most don't bother with the troublesome process if there's nothing in it for them.