The Nintendo Switch Online app is now available to allow social connectivity and voice chat for multiplayer games, but the functionality is a little unorthodox.
The app is available to download for IOS and Android and is designed to allow friend’s lists and voice chat for multiplayer games by connecting players Switch accounts. Although this is good news for players, the way in which has been executed is a little odd. For example, the voice chat requires that player’s phones are unlocked with the app running, locking the device or switching out of the app to check a text for example, will cause the chat to disconnect. Not only is this very inconvenient, basically meaning that the phone is out of use while voice chatting, but will be a major drain on battery life.
Since voice chat is only available through the app, with no games having built-in chat as yet, players will have to plug their headset into their phone to hear the voice chat. This means that player cannot plug into the Switch console to hear the in-game audio, which has resulted in a strange new peripheral to allow both the in-game audio and voice chat to be available at the same time. The peripheral was shown on Splatoon 2’s official Twitter account, in preparation for the game’s launch today.
The set up as can be seen in the picture above, solves the problem but is a very clunky fix considering part of the Switch’s point is being able to ‘play anywhere.’ The reasoning behind the choice to incorporate a mobile phone in the voice chat process is a mystery, but it feels like a step backwards considering much simpler alternatives have existed for years.
Nintendo have always been a little behind when it comes to online multiplayer and chat capabilities but to me, it does not look like they have learned from their mistakes. What do you think of the new setup? Let us know in the comment section below or Tweet us!