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Nintendo announced today that owners of its 3DS portable gaming system will be able to watch Netflix streaming movies and TV shows.

The app will be available as a free download from the Nintendo eShop. But Netflix users need to have a streaming membership starting at $7.99 a month and up. The new app will make the Nintendo 3DS — which can play games in stereoscopic 3D — more attractive for a wider number of users.

Nintendo says the service will be easy to use. On an average day, more than 1.5 million Netflix members watch TV shows or movies via the Wii console. Now they can watch movies in two dimensions whie on the run. At some point in the future, Nintendo says movies will be able to take advantage of the 3D glass-free experience on the 3DS. That’s been somewhat slow in coming, but at least Nintendo came through with a movie-streaming deal. Users can watch Netflix on the upper screen of the 3DS.

Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, said 3DS users can watch movies via Wi-Fi connections, including thousands of free Wi-Fi access points that Nintendo has secured across the country. To download the Netflix app from the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo 3DS users have to first install a system update that became available on June 6.


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