The success of the Nintendo Switch has caused folks to forget about some of the system's holes for the time being. Virtual Console is still absent, online services currently rely on developers, and as far as we know, voice chat requires a smartphone app to work. The latter was brought back into focus today, when peripheral maker Hori announced the branded Splatoon headset for the Nintendo Switch.
The headset itself looks quite stylish, but what's giving folks pause is the audio splitter. Basically, there's an additional dongle that brings the Switch itself and your smartphone together and sends that audio to the headset.
【2017年7月21日発売予定】「ステレオヘッドセット エンペラフックHDP for Nintendo Switch」がSplatoon2と同時発売予定です！ゲーム内のギアを再現したヘッドセットで、ゲーム音とボイスチャットをミックスさせて聞くことができます！(税抜￥3480) pic.twitter.com/q1T4Oy3Sr3— HORI /ゲーム周辺機器のホリ (@HORI__OFFICIAL) June 1, 2017
This is currently just for Hori's headset. We have no clue how this will sync up with Nintendo's official solution for voice chat. But as a hint of things to come, this is not a hopeful sign.
When asked about the reason behind the Switch's unique voice chat system, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils Aime previously said that the company was trying to avoid the "bulky gamer headset".
"Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service," Fils Aime told Wired in January.
This option isn't much better. It's also worth noting that while the headset jack is active in Docked mode, this system isn't all that optimal for couch play without some long cables.
Fingers crossed that Nintendo's official implementation is better.