Nintendo Switch Online Chat Requires Smartphone App and It’s Not Free

A recent statement suggests that Nintendo Switch online chat requires smartphone app. Well, even after the weak launch lineup, and less number of exclusives of Nintendo Switch you do not feel low for the console, the recent news is surely a letdown for all Nintendo Switch supporters.

See Also: Why Does The Nintendo Switch Not Come With Bundled Games?

For those who have some serious gaming headphones with built-in microphone, here is a bummer for you: Nintendo Switch online chat requires smartphone app.  Not only this, but, the app is only accessible to paid subscribers of Nintendo’s new online service. The news comes from a statement which states:

I think it would be helpful maybe to step back. Because I think it’s important there’s an understanding of the bigger vision. The bigger vision is that we are going to provide an overall online service, subscription-based, that not only will capture the multiplayer opportunity, but also the voice chat capability that we’re going to provide through a global app. The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences-like Splatoon, like Kart, like fill in the blank-while they’re on the go. Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your ear buds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.

Furthermore, the smartphone application is called as “Online Lobby and Voice Chat”. The access to app will remain blocked unless you are a paid subscriber of latest announced online service. Nintendo should have made this feature 100% optional, instead of 100% mandatory. The smartphone-Switch interaction is merely a Voice-over-platform. Nintendo could have used the interaction as a second screen of Switch or a remote controller for its media applications.

Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3, 2017 for $299. It will be interesting to see how far Nintendo Switch sales go up in its first month of launch.