Nintendo announced earlier this year in a somewhat odd move that they’re regulating voice chat supported games on the Switch to a mobile phone app. With Splatoon 2 right around the corner, the Nintendo Switch Online app has officially launched on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. The reception to the app has been… well, less than stellar, to say the least.
The main problem with the app is of course the voice chat. In order to voice chat with your friends in a game of Splatoon 2, you’ll need to invite them into a lobby using the app. While this is already clunky, the app doesn’t have the same flexibility as other voice chat apps like Skype or Discord. The Switch Online app needs to be opened and actively running for your voice chat to work – if you lock your phone or exit the app to look at something else, your session will abruptly stop.
This problem was further compounded by players wishing to also hear game audio. Console accessory maker company HORI will be releasing a Splatoon themed audio-splitter that will remedy this but the whole thing is just, well, take a look for yourself.
To enjoy a voice-chat enabled session of Splatoon 2 with your friends, you’re going to have to strap in with wires aplenty. It all looks pretty cumbersome which is ironic for a system that’s designed to be enjoyed easily on the go.
Not all is lost, though. Nintendo fans all over are always sending loads and loads of feedback about the app, so hopefully Nintendo will get the message and fix this mess. Also, the app itself isn’t too bad of an idea, voice-chat exclusivity not withstanding. Nintendo pitched the app as a sort of central hub where you can catch up on your friends activity and the sort, much like PSN and Xbox Live. Splatoon 2 even has its own unique SplatNet, which lets you check up on the current rotation of maps in the game, and you can even look at new gear.
Splatoon 2 launches July 21, so here’s hoping Nintendo can make something positive out of this.