Nintendo has always been one to think outside of the box when it comes to potential innovations. They were the ones who thought of motion controls, they were the ones who though of playing a console game off screen and then taking it with you, they were the ones who thought about connecting consoles and handhelds in meaningful ways. However, Nintendo has a history of thinking outside of the box when the box is perfectly fine on its own. Never has this been more clear than with the Nintendo Online App that’s available now.
Nintendo Online is the new online service that you are technically on right now if you own a Nintendo Switch. The catch is that in 2018, the service will be going paid. It’s only $20 a year, so it won’t break the bank, and it’ll give you special features and games for signing up. However, fans have been asking for communication features to chat with other gamers while they play, which is something you can do on other consoles and on PC. Their solution has been the Nintendo Online App, which will be used to good extent on Splatoon 2, or at least, that was the theory.
But, since its release yesterday, fans and critics from all over have been panning the service, for numerous legitimate reasons. For example, while it is possible to set up voice chat between friends on your phone, you always have to have the app active on your phone when using it, you can’t scroll away if you want to stay chatting. Furthermore, if your phone goes dark, so too does your chat.
For fans on Reddit, this has another nail in proving that Nintendo isn’t as smart as they claim to be. Due to the flexibility of the Switch, people can just go to Discord, Skype, or other services to talk while they play, and have so much less hassle.
What will Nintendo do in lieu of this universal panning? We’ll have to wait and see.