Nintendo Switch should support voice chat

Nintendo headphone switchSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

The Nintendo Switch was a very popular video game console in 2020, hitting the second-largest annual sales in U.S. dollars in history. The momentum does not seem to be slowing down. Some analysts expect the Switch to surpass the PS5 and Xbox series of consoles in 2021. I absolutely love my Nintendo Switch and I can definitely see why it has been doing so well in the last few years. Part of that is also due to the large number of multiplayer games. However, I think the Switch could have gone even better had it not been for one of his mistakes.

One of the most obvious problems with hybrid consoles is the lack of voice chat.

One of the most obvious problems with a hybrid console is the lack of voice chat. Since most Nintendo AAA games don’t allow you to communicate loudly with others online, it’s not that easy to play them with friends. Games are great social activities for children and adults. The lack of the ability to easily talk to headphones not only hampers enjoyment of the game, but seriously reduces someone’s precious social time. You can connect headphones to your Switch, but if the developers behind the game you’re playing haven’t made a special effort to create their own voice chat features, then you won’t be able to communicate on the Switch.

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This has been bothering me for a while now, but it reappeared when I bought the recently released Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury and tried to play with friends online. I couldn’t communicate with teammates to explain how to fight a particular star or how to get to a secret location. This led to many unnecessary deaths and it seemed like I was playing with strangers rather than friends. Worse, the game isn’t even supported in the Nintendo Switch Online app, designed for a voice chat system for Switch online games.

The Nintendo Switch Online app has always been awkward. The idea behind this is that certain Nintendo games have additional features in the app. This includes the ability to use voice chat via your phone rather than via switches and headsets. It’s just embarrassing.

In recent promotions, Nintendo is pretending that the Nintendo Switch Online app does not exist.

Hell, in recent promotions, Nintendo is pretending that the Nintendo Switch Online app doesn’t exist. In the video above, he doesn’t even mention the app and resorts to showing Brie Larson communicating with his sister via computer while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Obviously, the Nintendo Switch Online app isn’t good enough, and even Nintendo wipes it under the rug. We need a better system that doesn’t require people to use an external device connected to a third-party service to communicate, especially when many of us are stuck inside and playing games with friends online.

Why does Switch not have voice chat?

Now I understand that Nintendo is more of a family console, while Xbox and PlayStation systems are more aimed at teenagers and adults. As such, it makes sense that the Switch avoids functions that could lead children to violence or compromise. But if you don’t have a voice chat at all, this seems like an excuse, completely ignoring the huge percentage of adult Switch owners. After all, that’s what parental control is for. Voice chat should be an option on the Nintendo Switch that parents can disable. I mean, Nintendo could achieve that, so the Switch disables voice chat by default if parents don’t approve of using the feature.

Bluetooth headset and Nintendo Switch

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore

I’m sure even more people would regularly use the Switch to have voice chat. Since there isn’t, players have to rely on other consoles to hang out with friends. Admittedly, some games like Fortnite and Overwatch have their own voice chat feature running on the Nintendo Switch. This makes them more appealing options for Switch owners who actually want to have a social session with friends while playing their favorite games. If we had Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 or one of the many other Nintendo multiplayer titles allow us to connect headphones and communicate with each other, we would get even more out of these games.

Please Nintendo, please

Nintendo stands out for being a more child-friendly console with lots of games that the whole family can enjoy. However, it is beyond frustration that so many multiplayer AAA online games do not even support voice chat. At a time when many of us hang out with friends more than ever, the ability to truly communicate while playing games, instead of trying to get our characters to imitate what we want, is boring and unnecessary. It makes me want to resort to playing games on other systems when I want to virtually hang out with friends.

Please, Nintendo. Fix this.

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