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Splatoon 2 Headset Illustrates Switch's Strange Chat Solution

by Joe Juba on Jun 01, 2017 at 05:36 PM

Splatoon 2 is coming out on July 21 on Nintendo Switch, and today peripheral manufacturer Hori revealed a new headset for use with the game. The problem? The setup showcases the Switch's problematic approach to voice chat.

If you can't read Japanese, that's okay. The Splatoon 2 aesthetic is cute, but the primary takeaway is the image at the top of this page, demonstrating that players need to plug their headset, Switch, and a smartphone into a (squid-shaped) junction in order to make voice chat function. This allows both chat audio and game audio to come through the headset.

We already knew that Nintendo was planning to offload voice chat to a yet-unreleased phone app. Though this process doesn't seem difficult, making players juggle an additional cord and device is unconventional, and has the potential to be a hassle.

Hori's accessory has not yet been confirmed for a release in North America.


Our Take
The original Splatoon didn't have any voice chat, so this is technically an improvement, I guess? Most gamers are accustomed to simple chat solutions, where you plug in a headset and start playing. The extra baggage associated with this one might not be a dealbreaker, but it is inelegant (at best) and just seems like a backwards approach to facilitating a smooth online experience. We'll have to wait until Nintendo gets the Switch's online functionality fully implemented before making any final judgments, though.