Nintendo DS and Wireless Communication - Privacy Questions

The Nintendo DS's wireless communication (including PictoChat) offers a fun and unique way to communicate and play with other Nintendo DS owners. To help ensure your privacy and your family's privacy, do not give out personal information, such as last name, phone number, birthdate, age, email or home address, when communicating with others. For additional information, please take a moment to review the information below. If you have questions or concerns, a link to our e-mail address is provided near the bottom of the page.

Interacting with others through the Nintendo DS's wireless capabilities
The Nintendo DS features wireless communication in three different ways:

    PictoChat feature
    PictoChat is not an internet application. However, when using PictoChat, you can communicate with up to 15 other Nintendo DS users within range of your DS (approximately 65 feet). In addition, some games may also have similar communication features programmed into the game. For information on how a specific game uses wireless communication, please refer to the instruction booklet for that game.

    Multiplayer gaming
    With the Nintendo DS, gamers can link up for multiplayer action, all without the use of cables. In fact, some titles are designed so that only one player needs a game in their system -- everyone else simply downloads it from player one. Current games allow multiplayer action with players within approximately 65 feet.

    Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Online Gaming
    With the Nintendo DS and a wi-fi compatible game, players can connect with other gamers all over the world.

Things to consider when playing Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection games:

  • To protect your privacy, do not give out personal information such as last name, phone number, birth date, age, e-mail or home address when communicating with others.
  • Your Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID is tied to your Friend Roster and stored on your Nintendo DS system. Be sure to properly safeguard your Nintendo DS system and delete your user information from the Nintendo WFC setup if you will no longer be using your system or game to prevent a subsequent user from having access to your Friend Roster.
  • If you decide to provide personal information to any third party (such as a game publisher) it is subject to the privacy policy of that company, not Nintendo’s privacy practices. Be cautious before providing any personal information to any third party.

Things to consider when using PictoChat:

    (Note: Parents should be sure to educate their children on these issues as well.)

  • As PictoChat is not an internet application, it is not monitored. This means PictoChat does not block messages from strangers. However, it is also important to understand that:
  • Users must choose to activate PictoChat and enter one of the four available rooms to send or receive messages.
  • Users will not receive PictoChat messages while they are playing games on their Nintendo DS.

  • Anyone a user chats with must be within the range of the Nintendo DS's wireless signal (approximately 65 feet).
  • When you are in a PictoChat room, you can see when new people enter the chat room as their user names appear on the screen.
  • When participating in chat rooms, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:

  • During system set-up, you are able to choose a nickname, create a personal message, and enter your month and day of birth. This information is used by the PictoChat feature.
  • Up to 15 other users within range of your Nintendo DS (approximately 65 feet) may be able to view your nickname and messages within a selected chat room at any time.
  • Whatever date you choose to enter as your month and day of birth (year is not asked for), an "It's your birthday" message will be communicated in the chat room on that date.
  • Any user can change their nickname at any time. As such there is no guarantee you are chatting with the person you think you are.

As with any communication device (telephones, walkie-talkies, internet chat rooms, Instant Messaging, etc.), there is always the potential of information being viewed or heard by individuals other than the intended recipient. Some things we recommend to help protect you and your family's privacy include:

  • Children should be warned about receiving messages from, or communicating with, strangers.
  • An adult should assist children with the system setup and instruct them not to use personal information for their nickname and personal message.
  • Do not give out personal information, like last name, phone number, address, or school name.
  • Be sure children know how to identify when someone has entered the chat room. (See the Nintendo DS instruction booklet, page 16.)
  • If you feel that your children should not use the chat feature, you should instruct them not to use it. PictoChat is not functional unless it is selected when the system is turned on.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please email us by clicking here.