StreetPass is one of the Nintendo 3DS's most interesting and if you're not part of a social scene or culture that carries a 3DS everywhere, one of it's most underused. Unless you take your 3DS to a gaming convention or related event, it's unlikely that you'll StreetPass people during your daily activities in numbers large enough to matter. Nintendo wants to change that, as the company has recognized that North American and European 3DS owners aren't getting the same benefits as their Japanese counterparts. Kotaku reports that changes are coming to StreetPass that could boost your encounter rate.
Nintendo plans to implement a new framework via a system update for the 3DS, which will allow StreetPass communication to take place indirectly, via so-called StreetPass relay stations—basically, online servers accessed through public Wi-Fi access points. This way, 3DS consoles communicate with and leave their game data on a server instead of interacting directly with another console, not only increasing the chances of the data being received by another 3DS, but also allowing the same data to be received by multiple consoles instead of just one.
This is great news. I love StreetPass and have collected nearly six hundred tags since I bought my 3DS in 2011, but the massive majority of those come from my time spent at E3. A decent chunk are from when I attended the Symphony of the Goddesses Legend of Zelda concert last year. Beyond that? Chance encounters at a rate of maybe one or two every few months. I scored nine StreetPasses at the Nintendo Experience demo event at Best Buy yesterday. That's an impressive number for just being out and around. Collecting time-delayed StreetPasses feels like connecting with the ghost of a 3DS owner, but I'll take whatever tags I can get if this is how it has to be done to make it happen, and if you tag a Mii who looks like me, is wearing a Mario hat, and exclaims "PressTheButtons!", then I hope you'll put my character to good use in Find Mii and take a puzzle piece for your trouble.