Are We Better Off Without Nintendo Online?
Splatoon 2

Nintendo has been selling their new console left and right like madmen. The Nintendo Switch is so popular that stores have literally had a hard time keeping them in stock. They're like the Turbo Man action figure in Jingle All the Way. Schwarzen-dads everywhere are trying to get their hands on Switches for their children. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at one point had sold more copies than the console it was supposed to run on. Needless to say the Switch is doing great, and will continue to do so into the future. There's one thing that I have such a burning desire to talk about though. And some recent revelations have made it even more obvious for me. Nintendo still hasn't figured out how online gaming works.

From the beginning of my experiences with Nintendo's online options, I've been frustrated. When I first got a DS that had online capabilities I was super excited to add to my friends list. I knew a bunch of people who also had DSs and I thought it'd be fun. It was then that I realized I needed to get their special “friend code” number, and they needed mine before we could match up. This is obnoxious. There should be some kind of search option for usernames. Literally every other online system has this option.

Unfortunately the friend code system is the least annoying of Nintendo's online services nowadays. We were told that the Switch would have online options. What's more exciting than playing Splatoon with some friends and being able to chat with them? Well rather than just having the option integrated into your Switch, you'll have to download an external app for your phone. This was planned to be released in free trial mode this summer with the full release soon after. Now this app has been delayed to 2018. The free trial will continue until the full release anyway, but after that most games will require a paid subscription to play online. It's looking like Nintendo Switch Online will cost $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for three month, and $19.99 for a full year membership.

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Sure this a pretty reasonable price compared to Nintendo's competitors. However, all the Nintendo Switch Online app will do is allow you to chat with your friends and play online with them. And did I say play online with them? I meant to say set play appointments. There's no way to see how this will work yet, but it seems similar to the asinine system of friend codes. I can imagine you'll have to invite your friends to a set time to play together and then they'll have to confirm the same time. Then you'll have to enter your matches at that time. Just allow us to directly play together, let us click “join game.” Everyone else is doing it so it's clearly not impossible.

Another recent piece of tech was announced for the Nintendo Switch, a Hori Splatoon 2 headset. It's modeled to look like it came straight out of the popular game. It looks pretty to say the least. But in typical Nintendo form, they've over-complicated it to the point that frankly I'm completely turned off. The headset will plug into an adapter, which will then have to plug into both your phone and your Switch. The days of wire-free gaming are over. It would seem that Nintendo feels the need to move back into the past. I would hope that some sort of Bluetooth option exists for this headset as well, but there's no indication of such an option so far.

Splatoon 2

Couple the annoying external Switch Online app with headsets like this, and playing online on the Switch is totally dead for me. I'm certainly not the only one either. People have been taking to the comments section about the Splatoon 2 headset like crazy. It reminds me of the cheap Turtle Beach headset I bought because I couldn't afford the nicer sets. I just recently got rid of it without a replacement because the massive amounts of cords on the thing just drove me nuts. I'll not go through that again. The Splatoon 2 headset will definitely not be in my arsenal, and I can't see myself bothering with Switch Online either. Until it's more streamlined, and similar to its competitors, Nintendo just won't get me online.

How do you feel? Is this a similar issue for you as well? Or do you vehemently disagree? Let me know in the comments!

April Marie
April Marie
@Legiodith

Contributing Writer
Date: 06/06/2017

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