Nintendo Makes a Much-Needed Change to Online Voice Chat

nintendo online
(Photo: Nintendo)

We were elated when Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch Online app -- finally, a way to chat with out friends while playing Nintendo games online! It's such a simple luxury that we take for granted, but you really miss it when it's not there. Nintendo Switch Online finally brought voice chat to Splatoon 2 players everywhere, but there was one small problem: You had to keep your phone awake and on the app for voice chat to stay live. If you switched over to another app or put your phone to sleep, you were suspended out of the voice chat room. It wasn't a very elegant solution, but Nintendo just put a solution in place. Check out the latest update to the app (via Wario64), which should be available now:

  • Voice chat will now continue when other apps are opened.
  • Voice chat will now continue during sleep mode.
  • Bug fixes implemented.

Well it took long enough. The launch hype for Splatoon 2 has come and gone, and most players who play online with a group have branched out and found alternative means of chatting together. I assume that most of them are using Discord. Still, it's nice to see Nintendo make the effort since this is an app that will be evolving with future releases. It won't truly come into its own until Nintendo fully launches its paid online suite next year, but small steps like this one will ensure that when it does launch, it's fully-featured.

No doubt this post will be met with an onslaught of anti-Nintendo sentiment in the comments section of every social media platform from which it's broadcast. People will argue that Nintendo is still hopelessly lost in the past, and that a required smartphone app for online voice chat is the worst possible solution, and unacceptable in 2017.

While I can't say that I wholly disagree with the dissenters, I have to give Nintendo props for being true to its Blue Ocean approach. You can always count on Nintendo to do things differently, and if you're willing to suspend your beliefs about what conveniences you're entitled to, jumping into Nintendo's wacky world with its wacky is actually pretty fun.

So sue me. Or call me a Nintendrone. I don't care.