I have a lot of good things to say about the Nintendo Switch, but one of the things that really disappointed me was how the voice chat works with the Switch. According to an information presented on nintendo.com in the Online Service page, players can communicate via voice using a dedicated mobile device app. This brand new app will connect to the Nintendo Switch over and allow players to both chat with voice, invite friends to play online and also set play appointments.
Of course the main features that I was interested in most is the voice chat during multiplayer games. This features already exists on the PlayStation 4, where players can invite other players to a party voice chat lobby. You can make that party private, make a player an administrator for that party and limit its size. This is one of the reasons why I bought the PlayStation 4 and since them I’m met many new online friends due to this amazing feature. The Wii U doesn’t have it, so I knew that there is not way Nintendo is going to skip this feature in the Switch. This is very important feature considering that it’s really important for multiplayer games, especially for the more mature audience.
My main problem with Nintendo’s offering is that this feature isn’t integrated as a built-in app into the Nintendo Switch. You have to use the app on either your mobile phone or tablet which will integrate with the Switch. It’s beyond me why Nintendo opted for not including this app as an integral feature in the Switch. I just wanted to have an option to connect a headphone to the 3.5mm socket and chat with my friends while I’ll play, or even just chat while playing other games.
Another what I see as a disaster is that this voice chat features is only available for those who pay for the online subscription services, so it’s a paid service. Nintendo will release a free limited version of this app this summer, but eventually this will be integrated into the online paid service — bad, really bad. You can check out this on the official Nintendo website where it clearly say: “Online lobby & Voice Chat app” under the Service Subscribers section, and it’s omitted from the Non-subscribers column.
What if I don’t want to carry my phone with me and just want to be able to play over WiFi and enjoy a voice chat session, why can’t I do that? I’m sure that I am not the only one complaining about this and I wanted to hear what you guys think.