News Article

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.


From the web

User Comments (69)



Retro_on_theGo said:

This is awesome! I'd love to have this over here! ugh, hopefully?
Although it is pretty lame we'd have to pay nearly $10 for it.



NintendoGirl said:

YES I would use it! Come on, Americans! Your phone isn't a gaming device! It's a phone!! Can I live in Japan?



PinkSpider said:

Why are people so dam tight these days?!
''Oh no I have to pay 10 dollars for something'', I think people have become so greedy they have taken advantage of downloading music, films magazines etc for free (illegially) that the minute there's a charge for something they whine about it.
I bet if every person that has ever downloaded a film or an album illegally added up how much money they have saved buy doing so they would have saved a few thousand dollars/pounds.
Everyone downloads illegially , I don't care who you are even the people that don't know how to download get stuff from there friends.
At the end of the day someone has had to work and spend there time to develop what u are using so stop bloody moaning the minute a price is attached to something.



dizzy_boy said:

I'd happily buy it. It'll save money on phone calls if I want to chat to my friends.



crazyj2312 said:

I was always hoping for a pictochat type program to chat with people on my friend list via internet instead of just local connection. swapnote is alright but a bit lackluster in that you can't type anything



Geonjaha said:

To be honest, if it is of good quality, the yes, I would probably buy a voice chat app for my 3DS. The only reason I can think of not to is that I don't know that many people I know that actually own the things.

$10 though? Nope.



haniwa said:

10 bucks? And the other players must've bought it too?
Doesn't really sound like it'd work for me and the rest on my friend list.



Tomires said:

This should actually be a built-in feature. Vita already does both text (PSN) and voice (Skype) messaging for free.



PokeTune said:

You think in this day and age Nintendo would have features like this on an OS level but Nintendo.



New_3DaSh_XL said:

I might buy it, but they're selling something that's not only free on Wii, it's also more advanced on Wii U.



CrazyOtto said:

Japan's having an excellent week next week, along with the chatting app in this article, they're also getting another Sega 3D Classic, Coaster Creator 3D, and newest Mario VS DK game. The latter 2 are American developed games not released in Japan yet (really good ones).



Polaris said:

@PinkSpider that wasn't the point. It's kind of expensive for an app that lets you talk and text or use video. Apps like this for phones are free. The price of $10 for something like this seems a little much.



Prof_Clayton said:

I would buy it if you could use it while playing other games. Voice chat in games like Kid Icarus Uprising and things that require strategy would be awesome.



Mk_II said:

i'd love to have this because im the last person on Earth without a mobile phone



Gregor said:

If flipping smartphones get to be gaming devices as well why don't our gaming systems get to be smartphones too? It would also be a lot less akward trying to talk to people on NL. After all you wouldn't be asking for any phone number either which is a relief.



luminalace said:

Surely there must be a market here in the West for at least some sort of Instant Messaging service. Regardless of it's sales potential it would be a nice feature to compliment the 3DS!



hamae said:

Not for me. I bought my 3DS on day one and today I have 0 friend. I will have no one to chat with



c1pher_c0mplet said:

With everything the 3DS has gotten right (North America), I'm still EXTREMELY dissatisfied with the system's lack of a proper chat application. Swapnote doesn't count in my book. Tried using it but it's a pain imo. Unable to mass delete messages (especially spammers); receiving messages that are days old; etc. I deleted it and now rely on the Friends List to see what's going on w/my friends. Swapnote is a novelty at best.



Sgt_Garlic said:

What? This should be free or way cheaper. Text and voice chat is a standard feature the 3DS should've had in the first place.



CrissCross87 said:

If you could use it while playing a game, like one of the apps in the top portion of the home screen, then sure I would be fine with paying $10.

Too bad Microsoft bought Skype. I would doubt Nintendo would want to use their brands visually.



Neram said:

If features like this were built into the system I would be happy, but having to use a separate application makes it pretty much useless.



Phle said:

I would love an app like this one. It would have been be great (^_^)



ultrakatie64 said:

If the 3DS had 3G/4G service, I'd probably use it a lot. Maybe if something like this was done in combination with Miiverse, it would be worth it.



ramstrong said:

Make it an eShop product, and I'll buy! That's assuming $10 is all I pay, instead of usage charge like FlipMemo.



kyuubikid213 said:

If it was a one time pay deal, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat. I used the Pokemon Chat feature on White with my exgirlfriend a lot. I would love to talk to some of my 3DS pals!



TheAdza said:

I would use it, but not often. Unless it could run in the background, while playing a game, then it would be great. But if its like the basically useless Letterbox or Swapnote, then what is the point?



kereke12 said:

Haha thats funny on how I mention this to my buddies on Swapnote, that Nintendo should do a Chatting Service, and I guess I was right, 10$ is not bad lets just hope its comes out for U.K. and U.S.?.....AND WAIT JUST A MOMENT....STOP THE PRESS....does this mean that this could hint. That Miiverse is coming out Soon?



LordJumpMad said:

It show that Nintendo only care about their Japanese fans, the rest can just deal with it.
If you look at the 3DS and all its streetpass games, I think its very unlikely that the rest of us are going to enjoy it as much as japan is.



JayceJa said:

$10 as a one-off fee for voice and text chat on a portable system is pretty good even without mobile internet access, but i agree that it isnt as necessary for the western world



AJWolfTill said:

Once you pay for the app do you get unlimited free phone calls? If so the fact that your paying £10 for something phone companies charge for every single months is a huge deal! How could you complain about the price :S



SyFyTy said:

every internet phone user ie Roadrunner, Comcast, Time Warner Cable etc,... uses the tech. N already uses it in games like Heroes of Ruin, why not a full app that did the same. Heck Advance Wars DSi used it as well as several other games...



xiloh_battousai said:

...we could make it work Personally I'd rather use that as a social media site.... more than other's...fed up with the world's today, maybe this^ could bring people together instead of tear them apart, achoo..facebook



Windy said:

It would be a shame if this app didn't make it to the West. People have been begging for a skype type of program since the 3DS came out. I hope it makes it. It would just be dumb if it didn't come to north america and europe.

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