Nintendo is more than a little nervous when it comes to messaging services on its hardware, choosing to err on the side of caution rather than allowing players to chat with anyone at any time. 3DS owners no doubt remember Swapnote, the letter writing service that Nintendo discontinued last October after it was discovered that pornographic images were being shared with minors. Now there is a absence in communication software on the handheld — a perfect opportunity for a third-party company to swoop in.
Chat-A-Lot is a paid program set to release on eShop this Thursday for $7.99. It allows for both text chats with up to 10 people and voice chats with up to 4. It was released as Minna No Oshaberi Chatto in Japan, where it was met with criticism due to its horrible lag times. Hopefully it's been cleaned up since its Japanese debut last year.
A proper chat app is a good idea, but there are so many things that could go wrong. Aside from the aforementioned performance issues, the fact that you have to pay for this will greatly limit its exposure. How can you chat with your friends if your friends don't have the app? It makes you wish Nintendo would figure out a solution that safe enough for kids and robust enough for power users.