Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime reveals that gamers will have to use a mobile application to engage in voice chat on the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch presentation streamed live around the world just a few days ago, but curious gamers are still on the hunt to flesh out the intricacies of Nintendo's March-bound console. Yesterday, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime spilled the beans on how voice chat will work with the Nintendo Switch, and the solution is something one feels only Nintendo could have come up with.
As it turns out, gamers playing on the Nintendo Switch will only be able to communicate with others through a voice chat application installed on their phone. Nintendo stated that a "free, limited version of this application" will be available in summer 2017, which means voice chat won't be around for the Switch's launch this March – and the chat feature won't be compatible with every game. Once the console releases, gamers who pick up any of the 5 launch titles will have to dive into those titles without voice chat for a few months before the application comes out.
Here's what Reggie Fils-Aime had to say about Nintendo's mobile application for voice chat:
We want to reinforce the capability to take your experience with you on the go. The ability to do matchmaking, voice chat through your phone, it's a hell of a lot more convenient than having a gamer headset stuck into your backpack trying to do that. That's why we're doing it the way we are. We see the convenience, we see the ease of delivery. We think it's going to lead to a better experience.
Routing the the voice chat for the Nintendo Online services through an application will save Nintendo the obvious production costs that comes with making first party headsets, although it does mean that gamers who want to partake in voice chat will depend on their mobile device's battery life to keep their communications going. The Nintendo Online service itself will move to a paid subscription platform starting in fall 2017, and will offer some similar content to things like Xbox Lives' Games With Gold - although it looks like Nintendo gamers will only have access to the monthly free offerings for that particular month, after which they'll have to pay to play again.
Nintendo of America assistant manager of public relations David Young also confirmed that the Nintendo Switch wouldn't support either the StreetPass or the Miiverse, meaning gamers will no longer be able to put digital representations of themselves into the game. Young didn't offer any reasoning behind the end of the Miiverse, but did comment that StreetPass wouldn't be supported because the Switch was, at its heart, a home console first and a mobile gaming device second.
Nintendo has been known to have a much lighter approach to online services than Microsoft or Sony in the past, and it seems like the Nintendo Switch marks the point where the company is diving in headfirst to the world of true online communications during games. We will keep you posted as more information about the voice chat application comes to light.
What do you think about Nintendo's unique solution to voice chat, Ranters?
The Nintendo Switch releases on March 3, 2017 for $299 USD.