Nintendo explains why the Switch’s voice chat is via an app on your smartphone

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Nintendo has recently confirmed that voice chat — soon available on Nintendo Switch as part of enhanced online multiplayer offerings — will be handed via an app on your smartphone, not the console itself.

Nintendo’s confirmed in a press release that you’ll be able to “invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device,” adding that, “a free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer [winter in Australia] 2017.”

Speaking with IGN, Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime explained the reasoning behind the move.

“We need to offer, both to consumers well as to developers, a more robust set of opportunities from an online perspective and that’s what we’re looking to do,” Fils-Aime said.

“We want to reinforce the capability to take your experience with you on the go… The ability to do matchmaking, voice chat through your phone, it’s a hell of a lot more convenient than having a gamer headset stuck into your backpack trying to do that,” he continued. “That’s why we’re doing it the way we are. We see the convenience, we see the ease of delivery. We think it’s going to lead to a better experience.”

We recently previewed the Nintendo Switch at a hands-on event in Melbourne.