Nintendo to Offer ‘Automatically Connected’ Free 3DS Wifi At Airports

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Nintendo has teamed up with hotspot provider Boingo to offer free wifi in 42 airports, a well-played marketing move intended to highlight the connectivity features of the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo 3DS gamers will be able to access the Nintendo Zone, where they can download content and view all Nintendo news and special offers, stream online videos, and download games.

Chicago’s O’Hare, New York’s JFK, and Houston’s Intercontinental airports are the first three spots for the program.

In a prepared statement, a Nintendo executive said the agreement will allow people to “stay entertained while they’re on the go,” adding that “all 3DS users who bring their devices with them on their travels will be automatically connected for free to participating Boingo hotspots.”

While it is a fun perk for travelers during the holiday season, the “automatically connected” aspect is certainly worrisome from an online privacy standpoint.

Perhaps most people have forgotten the Sony Playstation hack, but if hackers can access 77 million “protected” Sony accounts, just think of the damage they can do over unencrypted airport wireless networks.

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi’s manager of digital content strategy.