Nintendo has released its online app for the Switch, more than four months after the console’s initial release.
The Nintendo Switch Online app, available for download on iOS and Android, allows users to set up appointments to play with friends, make use of game-specific services (like SpletNet 2 for Splatoon 2), and use voice chat while playing compatible Switch games.
Nintendo has received a lot of criticism and good-natured ribbing over its decision to tie voice chat to a mobile app. According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, this was all done because “we want to reinforce the capability to take your experience with you on the go. The ability to do matchmaking, voice chat through your phone, it’s a hell of a lot more convenient than having a gamer headset stuck into your backpack trying to do that. That’s why we’re doing it the way we are. We see the convenience, we see the ease of delivery. We think it’s going to lead to a better experience.”
The online app is out just in time for the release of Splatoon 2 this week, which Nintendo is pushing hard as the console’s premiere competitive shooter. The online app and its features are currently free, with Nintendo set to launch a paid online service sometime in 2018 which, among other things, will allow subscribers to access a compilation of Classic Game Selections with added online play.
We haven’t had a chance to try out the online app yet, but something tells us the voice chat feature is anything but convenient, at least if this hilarious diagram is any indication: