Splatoon 2 comes out tomorrow, and many fans of the kid-friendly shooter have been left wondering how exactly Nintendo would handle voice chat given that the Switch lacked the suitable online services. The original game on the Wii U lacked the feature, but surely the sequel would improve on that, right? Just a few days before its release, Nintendo has finally launched its online smartphone app, which is set to handle all not only voice chat, but other online features as well.
According to an article from The Verge, Nintendo Switch Online–available for both iOS and Android phones–will handle voice chat, game invites and other features specific to each game, such as Splatoon 2’s “SplatNet 2,” which let’s players view their stats, how they stack up on the leaderboards, and even buy clothing items for their Inkling.
Given that sending invites and creating online groups will all be handled through the app, some gamers were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to invite friends who don’t have it. Fortunately, the app lets you send a message through other apps such as WhatsApp and LINE.
Until Splatoon 2 comes out tomorrow, there’s really no telling just how well this app will work for voice chat and everything else. Nintendo has said that the service is free for the rest of the year, but from 2018 onwards, users will be charged an annual fee of $19.99. As a bonus, the paid service will also give users access to an unspecified library of classic Nintendo games.
Splatoon 2 releases on July 21, 2017 for the Nintendo Switch.