Nintendo Switch's First Voice Chat Headset Leaves Us Worried

We may be getting our first glimpse at how Nintendo intends to handle voice chat on the Switch today, and what we're seeing isn't very encouraging. Manufactured by third-party company HORI, this new headset is going to launch along Splatoon 2 in July. HORI shared images of the product today, and the way it connects to the Switch seems less than ideal.

Back before the Switch launched, Nintendo said that online capabilities of the console would rely on a smartphone app. While Nintendo hasn't clarified exactly what the app will handle and what it won't, judging from these pictures shared by HORI, it seems that voice chat will certainly rely on the app. That, as you can imagine, causes something of a problem when you also want to listen to in-game audio.

The solution HORI has landed on involves connecting the headset to both your smartphone and the Switch at the same time, using an arrow shaped hub to route both of those inputs into a single output to the headset. Looking at the images HORI has shared, it definitely seems like this could result in a mess of cables that wouldn't need to exist if online systems were handled purely on the Switch itself.

It's possible that Nintendo has a different first-party solution in mind, but it's also important to remember that Nintendo has worked very closely with HORI throughout the Switch's launch. Considering that this comes with Splatoon branding, we can assume that Nintendo had some sort of input with this headset. Not to put too fine a point on things, but that doesn't bode well for the ease of voice chat on the Nintendo Switch.

Hopefully Nintendo figures out a more elegant solution for the first-party accessories it develops. Maybe we can look forward to some first-party accessories at E3 2017? We'll find out soon enough, but one thing is for sure: don't expect to see a lot of people using voice chat if this is the best Nintendo and its third-party manufacturers can come up with.

SOURCE: HORI