New 3DS eShop App Brings Voice and Text Chat to Japan
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Odds of Western release, about a million to one?
The 3DS is not only a continuing sales success in Japan, topping the weekly hardware charts week after week, but its positioning as a device is arguably a fair bit different. In the West we'd suggest that its role is primarily that of a gaming system — of course — whereas in the Japanese market it's possibly a little more diverse. There's a children's eBook app on the way to accommodate parents that don't want their children using smartphones and tablets, and a similar marketing approach seems likely to be behind an upcoming voice and text chat app coming to the region.
Minna no Oshaberi Chat will hit the eShop in Japan on 24th July with a cost of 980 Yen, which is a little under $10. When online the app will support voice calls for up to four people, while up to ten individuals can join in with alternative chat features; there will also be options to exchange messages, images and simultaneously draw with others.
This is only confirmed for Japan and, we'd suggest, is likely to stay in the region. All of the features outlined above are already common on smartphones and tablets, which many in the West already use a great deal; the market arguably doesn't exist to sell many copies. It's another example of the differing roles that the 3DS serves in Japan and with Western audiences.
If an app like this came to the West, would you use it, or would you stick to your phone and other online options? Let us know in the comments below.