Quality control is in another castle.
The ability to chat with people over voice is still a requested feature on Nintendo systems. There are a few software titles that support, but on a system level it’s still missing. Because of this, the idea behind The Location's Minna no Oshaberi Chat is interesting. The ability to share pictures, make drawings and simply chat to one another sounded appealing, which is why I downloaded it. As it turns out, I have made my worst mistake of 2013 so far.
Minna no Oshaberi Chat has a lot of potential, but it quickly opens on a sour note. The application is completely web based, which is certainly not something I’ve seen on the system before. There are no servers used and no direct communications between Nintendo 3DS units, except for the options to easily select friends from your dedicated list. The entire idea suffers from this move, because everything in the application feels slow and unresponsive. Even when you are not actively talking to someone, the program has problems keeping up with you.
Voice chats can be done with up to four people or just simply one-on-one. The sound quality is choppy, with frequent second-long pauses. This makes conversations unpleasant and makes the voice feature utterly useless. You can also decide to text chat through a virtual keyboard and add some emoticons here and there. Messages don't pop up instantaneously and have to be loaded one by one extremely slowly. There is no option for you to directly load them, and when new messages pop up older ones have to be loaded all over again.
During both methods of chatting, you have the option to draw some doodles or send some pictures. The pictures overlay loads even slower here than anywhere else, and it has to be loaded the same way as the messages. Even sillier is that you can only view these pictures on the touchscreen, which makes the 3D feature worthless. Drawing feels oddly unresponsive considering that you are drawing them first and sending them later. The lag is manageable, but it simply shouldn't be there in the first place.
Minna no Oshaberi Chat was such a neat idea, but it is just a shame that they didn't think it through fully. There are no redeeming factors, with the possible exception of the acceptable presentation. Let us continue to hope and dream that someday, someone will do it better.