Nintendo Makes A Major Improvement To The Switch Voice Chat App

Nintendo Switch Voice Chat
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo just recently updated the Nintendo Switch with a new firmware patch that adds some fresh new features to the system app that focuses on a major improvement for the console: the voice chat. Gamers have long complained about the voice chat features for the system, but Nintendo has finally updated them.

Over on the official Nintendo website, there's a brief changelog for update 1.1.0 for the Nintendo Switch, which just recently dropped on September 12th, 2017. This update contains three very important features for the voice chat app, including the ability to utilize voice chat while other apps are open on the phone. This works similar to the party chat from other consoles, where you can join up and chat with someone and continue to chat with them even while you're not in a game or you've excited the app.

The next feature in the update enables voice chat while the console is in sleep mode. Now this is an odd feature to add given that most times if a console or device is in sleep mode it would seem like you're no longer using the device. However, as some of you know, you have to use a phone to make use of the Switch's voice chat, so if you want to save your battery life on your phone by putting it to sleep but you still want to use voice chat, you can do so. This is only available for Android devices version 6.0 or higher. You'll also need to make a modification in the settings by going into the "Other Settings" and then "Power Saving Settings" and deactivating battery optimization on the Android device.

Additionally, the update also makes the Switch more compatible for Bluetooth devices, assuming you're using one for wireless voice chat functionality.

As some of you know, the Switch is notorious for having one of the most convoluted ways to voice chat this generation, mainly because you need a smartphone or tablet in order to utilize voice chat on the system. Would it not have made more sense to be able to pair up wireless Bluetooth headsets to the Switch? A battery-powered headset that connects wirelessly to the Switch would have saved everyone a lot of time and hassle.

Nevertheless, Nintendo was adamant on using the method that it did for providing voice support for the Switch. Despite cries of discomfort and inconvenience, the company continued on with that path. Microsoft was almost in a similar situation where the Xbox One was originally not going to come with a wireless headset. After incessant amounts of complaints, Microsoft eventually caved in and added a headset into the Xbox One's package. However, gamers got hit with another shortchange in the fact that the controllers bundled into the system don't come with a wired micro-USB connector, so you'll have to purchase it separately.

However, gamers have been a lot more forgiving of Microsoft and the USB cable issue as opposed to Nintendo and the voice chat debacle.

Until Nintendo truly makes the voice chat more convenient, you'll just have to settle with the current method that the company is using for now. On the upside, at least Nintendo is still updating the Switch's voice chat capabilities, so, hopefully, it'll move toward a dedicated voice chat option sometime in the near future.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.