Nintendo Switch Social Functionality

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We were told that we would be getting a better online experience whenever they announced that it would be a paid service.  Then we were told that it would be a dedicated phone app.  Today, we found out that the phone app requires the screen to stay on at all times, we can't chat outside of games and we can't talk to non-friend teammates on Splatoon 2. 

Speaking with non-friend teammates is key to a budding eSport.  Being able to communicate with other players about the strategy you want to use and how to go about playing a match is how casual players end up interested in eSports.  This is absolutely key to Splatoon and other games on the system growing at the rate Nintendo wants them to. 

If the developers of 3rd party games have to make a companion app to let players voice chat in their game, they might just see that as "The straw that breaks the camel's back" and decide against porting their multiplayer game onto the platform.  The way that user login currently works does not lend itself well to a system wide voice chat system.  No parties can be made before launching a game because the system does not consider you "online" until a game is launched and the desired profile is selected.

The Nintendo Switch online app is an awesome way to host companion apps all in one place.  Splatnet 2 hosts a ton of cool info and features, but it shouldn't be the required location for online voice chat.   Services like Discord, Skype and, even a plain ol' voice call from our phones have all the voice chat functionality of the Switch online app and more.  You can lock the screen, let the app run in the background, have dedicated chat rooms, manage lobbies, and talk outside of games.  There is no reason why we should have to pay for a service that is light years behind the technology of even the early-mid 2000's.

Improvements Needed: 

  • Improved profile system to allow system-wide voice chat
  • Console integrated Social functionality (lobbies & voice chat)
  • Teammate chat (non-friend team lobby) during Turf War and Ranked
  • Allow the dedicated app to run in the background or at least allow the phone to be locked to conserve battery

The goal of this petition is to raise awareness at Nintendo of what the community wants before the service becomes a paid premium service at the end of the year.    If there is anything I missed, make note of it in the comments and make sure to share this around to help Nintendo make the Switch a better platform! We can do this!



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