Nintendo confirms that 10 Nintendo Switch consoles can connect to each other with LAN Play, though two of those Switch users will only be able to spectate.
When the Nintendo Switch launches next month next month, one of its biggest selling points will be its local multiplayer capabilities. The console’s announcement trailer highlighted a few possibilities including playing a basketball sim (at a basketball court), competing against a buddy at a casual hangout, or as they travel in the car.
Stepping up the promotion of this feature, Nintendo has now confirmed just how many Nintendo Switch consoles will be able to connect to one another at once. In a press release (via IGN) sent out to reveal new details about Splatoon 2, the company confirmed that 10 Nintendo Switch consoles can link up via a feature called LAN Play. However, there are some big catches to the service.
For example, the 10 consoles must be docked (and therefore not in their portable tablet mode) and they must be connected trough wired LAN. Only eight consoles can be connected via wireless LAN. Moreover, two of those 10 connected Nintendo Switch consoles will not be able to actually play. Nintendo further explains that a mode called ‘Private Battle Spectator’ allows “up to two people to participate in a Private Battle as cameramen to observe the 8-player battle from multiple angles.”
This is great news for those hoping that the Nintendo Switch will be all about eSports. Assuming that there will also be an option to stream this spectated footage, and that the feature will be enabled for other titles, Private Battle Spectator could make it easy for tournament organizers to set up competitions and let millions of people from all around the world watch the action. Between games like the aforementioned Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS, the Switch could really appeal to the professional gaming crowd and the spectator feature would make it easy as pie for them to showcase their talents to a wide audience.
But on the other hand, some will be disappointed that not all 10 Switch consoles will be able to play. Those who can only spectate may end up feeling left out of the action and groups of friends may have to figure out a rotation to make sure that everyone gets to play at some point. So while Nintendo may allow more consoles to play (rather than just spectate) in future, Switch owners may have to wait until the Nintendo Switch online multiplayer service launches this fall until they are able to play against more.
The Nintendo Switch is set to release on March 3, 2017.