Another step towards having an actual civilized online system on the Nintendo Switch.
Although Fortnite allows for native, console level voice chat on the Nintendo Switch, there is no system-wide solution in place for titles to use for voice chat on Nintendo’s system if they want to. You need to use a phone app that syncs up with your Switch if you want an official voice chat solution, which—at that point, why not use Discord?
However, it seems that a third party has decided to pick up the slack, and bring native console level voice chat to the Switch anyway. Vivox, which is owned by Unity, is bringing its native voice chat SDK to the Nintendo Switch. This allows not just for voice chat to be supported directly from the system via its headphone jack, and without need of the app, but also for native system level cross platform voice chat. This is also the solution that Fortnite on Switch uses, in fact, so we do know it works well.
“We’ve already seen a great deal of success with Nintendo and the use of our voice services in Fortnite,” said Dave Verratti, president of Vivox. “We are extremely proud to be a part of the Nintendo ecosystem. We’re happy to help Nintendo continue to push the envelope in their products by bringing gamers together through enhanced communications. Multiplayer games can and should excel on Nintendo Switch, and we’re excited to see the results of the Vivox SDK on Nintendo Switch.”
Between this, and the announcement of the Xbox Live infrastructure being available for third parties on Nintendo Switch, it seems like in spite of Nintendo’s best efforts, a proper online system may yet be available to Switch users. Not that that has stopped Nintendo’s own online service from taking off, what with it having over 8 million users already and all.