As you may have heard, Nintendo has announced its new console. The Switch. The Switch itself is already strange in many, many ways and this last bit of information does not deviate from that pattern that we have gotten to know as Nintendo. Instead of gamers using a “Bulky Headset”, Switch users will use their not so bulky and awkward to hold your face while gaming for hours smart phone for in game voice chat.
Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime said in a recent interview,
““We are going to provide an overall online service, subscription-based, that not only will capture the multiplayer opportunity, but also the voice chat capability that we’re going to provide through a global app. We think that that’s just as important as access to Virtual Console content.”
He continues to explain,
“The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences—like Splatoon, like Kart, like fill in the blank—while they’re on the go. Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.”
I am having a very hard time figuring out what Nintendo is trying to do here. Do they want to lose even more players and customers? Using my phone for voice chat would be a very cool option to have but it is not a replacement for my top-end gaming headset. How would we hear the game sound while using voice chat and not flood our own mics with the sound from our TVs?
On top of that Nintendo is charging for online play, Nintendo’s official page for their subscription service states,
“Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device. A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.”
Looks like we will see how this central app approach works in just a few months.
Nintendo Switch will be available, World Wide March 3rd 2017