From their financial briefing, this is what you say in regards to StreetPass and SpotPass overseas and their popularity:
When it comes to StreetPass, users in the automobile-dominated U.S. do not use it as much as Japanese users do. In contrast, it has gradually become popular in the metropolitan areas of European countries. This year we plan to add some StreetPass-related features to the Nintendo 3DS in order to encourage more people to go out with their Nintendo 3DS, and make StreetPass and SpotPass more popular overseas.
It’s a fairly accurate line of reasoning, people in the US and Europe certainly don’t use these features as much as gamers in Japan do. But am I the only one who thinks there’s a pretty big flaw in their solution and that they don’t seem to understand why StreetPass is rarely used outside of Japan?
Because to be honest, it’s lack of popularity has nothing much to do with what ‘apps’ or features or available. No, it’s all done to these two things:
1. The US is far bigger than Japan and the population just don’t live so closely together. It’s never going to be quite as useful simply because the vast majority of 3DS owners do not live in the same area or meet each other on a regular basis. However, this might be something you can overcome if you can beat point 2…
2. The 3DS is less popular outside of Japan in general and less people own one. Making new apps won’t get people to buy the console and it won’t get current owners more StreetPass hits, since the big problem isn’t that people don’t bring the console with them. No, what they need are popular games to sell the system. You know, like Pokemon X and Y versions when they come out in October this year.
Really, I think Nintendo might be worrying about the wrong thing here and coming up with a ‘solution’ that’s not even necessary to begin with (because the popular games coming out will sell the system more than any ‘apps’ would). The whole thing about StreetPass is really like how a trading based game such as Pokemon works, you need a large audience who owns the game or system otherwise it’s useless.
Nintendo’s Financial Briefing; Page 5