Nintendo has axed the SpotPass feature of its 3DS messaging system after finding minors exchanged "offensive material".
Nintendo said some consumers, including minors, were found to have exchanged their friend codes on the internet, then used Nintendo Letter Box (Swapnote in the US) to exchange "offensive material". The Japanese company did not disclose the nature of the offensive material.
Now, it's decided the best way to stop this happening is to prevent people from sending and receiving notes using SpotPass.
"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop this service because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused," the company said in a statement.
"Nintendo always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action.
"We are very sorry for the inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly, however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this service. Thank you for your understanding."
The SpotPass feature of Nintendo Letter Box was removed at 2am this morning UK time.
Nintendo Letter Box, released in December 2011, had let people send 2D and 3D messages to their friends, which are received via SpotPass. You can write messages and include pictures and sound from the 3DS camera.