Nintendo today launched its hotly debated Nintendo Switch Online smartphone chatting app, and it's just as bad as you predicted.
The Nintendo Switch has two major online-based first-party games: ARMS and Splatoon 2. Rather than allowing players to easily hook up third-party headsets directly to the Switch, or into the Switch's Pro or JoyCon controllers, the company has taken a more confusing integrated approach: by forcing users to download an app to their phones for voice chatting. The app, which is required to chat with friends in parties in online games like Splatoon 2, launched today to strong frustration from the community.
Splatoon 2 isn't yet available, so only games press currently have full functionality of the app. And from what we're hearing it's quite awful, and Switch owners aren't happy. According to Forbes' Paul Tassi, the app is marred with a litany of problems including: the phone's screen must stay on to chat, you can't chat with friends when the app is minimized so say goodbye to communication while you answer a phone call, and, of course, there's real issues of battery drain considering the phone's screen must stay on and connected to the internet at all times to work.