‘It’s always there, it’s always with you’
One of the most contentious elements of the Switch is its chat system. Instead of just…chatting with it, something that’s been done with pretty much every modern device, you need to daisy-chain a microphone to your mobile device and run the official Nintendo app. It’s strange, especially given that the Switch has a headphone jack.
It’s a feature, not a bug, as the company has maintained, and this week Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aimé is doubling down on it. Speaking to Arcs Technica, Reggie stated: “What we see is a situation where we know that Nintendo Switch is being played in the open, at a park, on a metro bus. We believe the easiest way for you to connect and have a peer-to-peer experience with voice chat is with your mobile phone. It’s always there, it’s always with you.”
Reggie further illuminates the situation: “Nintendo’s approach is to do things differently. We have a much different suite of experiences than our competitors offer, and we do that in a different way. This creates a sort of yin and yang for our consumers. They’re excited about cloud saves and legacy content but wish we might deliver voice chat a different way, for example.”
That mentality is generallyfine, it’s what allows Nintendo to continue to be great despite whatever difficulties might be present in the gaming landscape, but “doing things differently” doesn’t have to mean “less convenient than our competitors.” You know what else is “always with you?” Your Switch.
In the past a quote floated around regarding executives who laughed in the face of someone who suggested that Nintendo’s online component should look to the PSN and Xbox Live for inspiration. Now they’re implementing features for Switch Online (like cloud saves for instance) that both have had for many years.
Nintendo prides itself on being original, but sometimes that pride can get in the way.