So, although we’re big shot media guys now – we didn’t get the memo from Nintendo regarding the Switch companion app like a million other websites did. Luckily, my reading comprehension is top-notch, so I’m gonna tell you all about it anyway.
We already know that the Nintendo Switch will connect to an app via your iPhone or Android to handle voice chat – but a ton of details are still up in the air regarding how exactly the app pairs with your Switch, when it’ll be released, and what other functions it’s going to have.
The press release sent out to everybody but us says that the Nintendo Switch app for smart devices “enhances online play” and will “connect to the game and allow players to set play appointments with friends who have been added to their Nintendo Switch friend list or via their social media accounts”. Hmm… Okay. Play appointments? Interesting. While I do like the idea of scheduling matches with friends (living with my significant other has cut down on my game-time, so this could be a lifesaver), I truly hope Nintendo’s wise enough to add a function that will share these appointments with built-in smartphone calendar apps to de-clutter my notifications screen.
Also, social media account support is fucking dope. Being able to add your buddies’ Switch accounts based off of their Facebook or Twitter handles is awesome, and long gone are the days when I’d have to memorize a 12-digit friend code or write down someone’s gamertag on my hand or a slip of paper only to get home and realize that the ink was smeared or the paper vanished. I swear to god 9 times out of 10 when someone tells me their Gamertag on Xbox I completely forget to add them.
Nintendo also said the app will allow players to “match up with friends directly in the game or voice chat with them via their smart device”. Personally, I think the requirement for a smart device or tablet nearby to do voice chat is pretty lame, but then again I typically text or tweet between loading screens whenever I game anyway… So maybe it won’t be so bad. The one part here that worries me though is that it sounds like you need this app to start matches with friends in-game… Since the sentence didn’t explicitly say that was the only way to accomplish matchmaking I’m not gonna freak out just yet – but I am gonna keep this pitchfork close by.
All in all, I don’t think the Switch’s app is going to be that bad – in fact it sounds like it’ll be pretty handy if done right. There’s a sinking feeling in the back of my brain however that Nintendo will over-rely on this and fuck up the Switch experience… But they wouldn’t do that… Right?