Note: This is an opinion piece. It represents the opinion of PushDustIn, and not the opinion of all of Source Gaming.
Obviously, I love the company. I’ve written about the company for over three years, but sometimes I need to shake my head is disappointment. The latest news is that Nintendo’s voice chat solution for the Switch is somehow even worse than we previously thought. So I’m here to call on all my fellow Nintendo fanboys, and talk about something that we all know deep down — Nintendo messed up. It’s time to stop making excuses and to tell Nintendo to make a solution. Fix the voice chat.
Now I’ve read a lot of comments from ‘Defenders of Nintendo’ (DoN) who claim that:
…voice chat is not such a big deal. I don’t use it. Why would you want to use it? I’m glad that Splatoon won’t have voice chat so I won’t have to deal with annoying kids! Everyone has a smartphone these days. Nintendo requiring you to download an application isn’t such a big deal. It doesn’t matter that you need to keep that app open all times — when I play games, I’m focused on the experience. It’s free right now…
Stop. If you are one of these people, stop. Nintendo is not going to sleep with you. You do not need to defend Nintendo all the time. In fact, if you love a company so much, criticize it. Don’t accept half thought solutions and pay for it. Expect greatness all the time or else you become complacent with mediocrity.
Even the notification tray can cut your audio from the conversation, which is hilarious. Your phone screen stays on while having a talk.
— Daan Koopman (@NintenDaan) July 19, 2017
problem with Nintendo’s voice chat solution: it’s not simple. In order to access the voice chat consumers will need a smartphone or at least a tablet with iOS/ Android. So if the consumer is part of the population that doesn’t have a smartphone — or if they have a Windows smartphone then they are automatically locked out of the experience. They won’t can’t access the voice chat in any way, shape or form. These aren’t just random people either. Two of those people work on this site! If you travel abroad, and don’t have a smartphone — you won’t be able to use the voice chat! If a phone breaks, then the Switch loses some functionality. It just boggles my mind how Nintendo thought this was a practical solution. Have they ever used voice chat before?
Guys, it's not out yet. Don't be giving it a 5. pic.twitter.com/fgcjZRCaEc
— PushDustIn (@PushDustIn) July 19, 2017
The fundamental idea that a Switch experience is behind a phone makes it complicated for some customers to get their full enjoyment out of the Switch. If you are one of the DoNs — please realize that not everyone plays games the way you do. Some people like talking with their friends via their gaming consoles. Personally, I don’t. But I’ll defend everyone’s ability to do it on a modern console. Sony and Microsoft are not locking people behind a complicated set up — and they’ve had this figured out years before Nintendo even really attempted it. All Nintendo had to do was look at what anyone else has done for the past ten years and copy it.
It gets worse. Nintendo’s voice chat requires the app to be open at all times. This means that I cannot use my phone in any other way while waiting for the next game — or if I lose and I’m waiting for the next round. Essentially, I cannot check my Twitter, emails, Reddit, whatever. Essentially I’m locked out of my phone while using this app. Not only that, but having the phone on constantly will drain the battery! That means for some people, they will need to charge their phone while playing a game. I can have video chats with my girlfriend and can still have another app opened at the same time — it’s great for looking up something, or if I want to check an email real quick. Why can’t Nintendo and DeNa make a halfway decent modern app?
First impressions matter…and they matter a lot. Nintendo has simply fumbled its’ way through announcing its’ online services for the Switch, and has left a lot to our imaginations. However, with more and more information coming out — I expected not a whole lot, and I’m disappointed.
So basically this is how voice chat on the Switch will work: Switch docked (and plugged in), with an AUX cable coming out of the TV and phone into a pair of headphones while charging the phone…what the heck. To all of the ‘Defenders of Nintendo’: I wish you good luck not tripping over all of these wires or the logic to defend such a terrible decision.