Nintendo needed a solution for its online infrastructure on the Switch sooner rather than later. They’ve officially revealed it in short fashion, and it’s due to launch in just over two weeks. It’s coming on July 21.
The Nintendo Switch Online App was announced in passing during this morning’s Splatoon 2 Direct Presentation. It’s how players will access SplatNet 2, the game’s official home for stats and information. It’s also how players will connect with friends, join parties and use voice chat.
In the official press release covering Splatoon 2 and SplatNet 2, Nintendo details the Nintendo Switch Online App a little.
When the Nintendo Switch Online app* launches for mobile devices on July 21, players will also have access to SplatNet 2. This Splatoon 2-specific service helps players stay in touch with Inkopolis even when they are away from their Nintendo Switch systems! SplatNet 2 displays information like stage schedules, gear and stats, and even lets users view their lifetime inkage, a feature that shows how much turf a player has inked compared to real-world places. The Nintendo Switch Online app allows users to invite other players to join Private Battles, League Battles, Salmon Run and Splatfest Battles, as well as communicate with those players using voice chat. (A compatible mobile device and persistent internet connection are required. Data charges may apply.)
This is how Nintendo aims to solve the voice chat problem on the Nintendo Switch. Quite honestly, I can’t say I’m all that thrilled. Having to fire up a phone app to talk to friends, through a separate headset or on speakerphone with my TV blaring, sounds downright awful.
I’m anxious to try this in a real life scenario, and I’m starting to feel like I might hate it. I’d like to have game audio and voice chat running through the same headset. I certainly don’t want to sit with my phone in my lap, headphone in one ear and TV playing to the other while holding my Nintendo Switch. It sounds… cumbersome, doesn’t it?