Voice chat is coming to Nintendo Switch, but using it may be a bit more complicated than previously anticipated.
Back in January, Nintendo drew widespread criticism for how it the Switch would be handling voice chat. Unlike the PS4 or Xbox One, you can’t actually use voice chat natively on the system. Instead, you’ll need to download a Nintendo Voice Chat app. At the time, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé defended this decision by saying you could use any headphones, including the ones that come with your phone. Well, if all Switch headsets are like the one Hori just revealed, then this isn’t a good solution.
Hori took to Twitter to showcase it’s brand new Switch headset launching alongside Splatoon 2. The biggest revelation? You need to be plugged into both your smartphone and Switch at the same time.
【2017年7月21日発売予定】「ステレオヘッドセット エンペラフックHDP for Nintendo Switch」がSplatoon2と同時発売予定です！ゲーム内のギアを再現したヘッドセットで、ゲーム音とボイスチャットをミックスさせて聞くことができます！(税抜￥3480) pic.twitter.com/q1T4Oy3Sr3
— HORI /ゲーム周辺機器のホリ (@HORI__OFFICIAL) June 1, 2017
You will need to be plugged into your smartphone for the chat, and the Switch to listen to the game. The most glaring issue is that this solution only really works for those playing undocked. With a cable that’s only 0.5 meters long, it’s not really possible to play in docked mode and enjoy voice chat. It is unknown if every headset for the Switch will work the same way, or if mobile headsets plugged into a smartphone will also output audio from the game. So far, this is looking like a pretty big oversight, especially considering Nintendo will be charging users to use this feature.
Expect to hear more about voice chat and Nintendo’s paid online service at E3 2017.