Kotaku spoke with Nintendo of America’s President – Reggie Fils-Aime – at E3, covering the Switch’s upcoming voice chat, Switch vs 3Ds, Virtual Console, and more.
Why the Nintendo Switch Voice Chat will require a mobile phone
Reggie had this to say:
“We actually think that the phone is going to deliver a better, more robust execution. In terms of the APIs that we can build into an app, the fact that phones are ubiquitous, the fact that it allows us to do much more rapid improvements and updates to the service, that’s why we think a phone execution—and specifically a mobile app execution—is going to be better for the consumer.”
On the Hori ‘squid’ voice chat system
“So let’s be clear. What you’ve seen is the execution by one particular supplier. That is not going to be the only solution.”
“It’s going to require a phone. It’s going to require a mobile device and be delivered by an app.”
We don’t know whether Nintendo fully believes a phone can deliver a better voice chat experience than their own console could have, but this statement has me worried either way. Perhaps the Switch OS struggles with the multi-tasking required for voice chat?
Phones being ‘ubiquitous’ is a terrible argument as not every Switch owner will have a phone, but every Switch owner will have a Switch!
The ability to do ‘rapid improvements and updates to the service’ also shouldn’t be necessary if the infrastrucure is built properly. Nintendo has already done voice chat on previous consoles. The main difference seems to be the Switch’s hybrid console/portable design.
Reggie offered little information on questions concerning the Virtual Console and lack of Switch Cloud Save.
Regarding their legacy games:
“What we’ve said is that as we communicate the specifics of the Nintendo Switch online service then at that point we’ll communicate what it is we’re doing with our legacy content.”
About Switch owners worried of losing save files and lacking a Cloud Backup.
“I can’t say there’s a solution coming, but we do hear the message.”
You can check out the full interview here, but Reggie is definitely the master of speaking without saying more than he wants.