Fine TechRadar readers, you're welcome. We think we’re due some thanks for the news that on-console online voice chat is now open to all Nintendo Switch games.
Now, software developer Vivox, behind the in-game online voice chat technology powering Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, has announced it's making that same tech available to all game developers on the platform. So … you’re welcome?
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Anyway, Variety reports (opens in new tab) that this technology is already in the works for Hi-Rez Studios’ versions of Paladins and Smite for Nintendo Switch. Also, as we know through Fortnite, this tech allows for cross-play voice chat between players on different consoles.
At long last, but will every game get onboard?
To be clear, this isn’t Nintendo who has enabled this feature, but a third party partner. This is an important distinction, as nothing within the announcement indicates that these features will come to all online games on the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo’s own approach to voice chat within its online games is well known, requiring a smartphone wirelessly tethered to the console via Wi-Fi using Nintendo’s Switch Online app. For the time being, it would be safe to expect Nintendo will stick to its solution.
After all, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Kotaku in a 2017 interview (opens in new tab) that this method can “deliver a better, more robust execution.”
At the very least, it would appear to be a no-brainer for third party developers working on online multiplayer games for Nintendo Switch to incorporate these tools. Nintendo’s solution may be unique and useful in some ways, but the vast majority of online gamers expect the entire experience from within their device.
A smart move on Nintendo’s part would be to support both methods for its online games, particularly its most-played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 games. It’s not only right for the players, but it would make Nintendo’s Switch Online subscription that much more appealing – a service that will only become more important to the company’s bottom line as the Switch grows older.
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