“How will voice chat work?” was one of the biggest questions spawned from the Nintendo Switch reveal. Speculation continued months after launch as Nintendo provided little details other than ‘something-something-smartphone’.
@HORI_OFFICIAL tweeted their new headset for Splatoon 2, and the solution appears clunky as hell.
Since the Switch voice chat will be handled by a smartphone app, the HORI adapter appears to be necessary to hear game and chat audio simultaneously.
The headset will connect to the splitter that’s connected to both the Nintendo Switch and Smartphone. Add a power adapter to keep the phone charged during playtime and you’ve got a nightmare of cabling.
Furthermore, HORI took a page from the NES Classic and included shockingly short cables.
Once we knew the Switch was using an app for voice chat I feared the worst, and it appears the worst-case will be the reality. Many Nintendo owners will probably be just fine with single player or local multi, but Splatoon 2 is the flagship of Nintendo’s push for online gaming. The success of the original was a wonderful surprise and Nintendo’s original Switch trailer focused heavily on Splatoon 2 being played competitively. To have it hamstrung with a ridiculous setup like this is unfortunate.
Critics have pointed out it’s a third-party accessory and not necessarily indicative of what Nintendo will officially offer, but with the infrastructure and hardware in place, I don’t see how they could do it much differently.
It definitely feels like a step backward when the Wii U and even the 3DS had traditional voice chat capabilities.
The headset is available July 21st, in Japan.
What do you think?