Which means that roughly a quarter of the Switch user base has succumbed to using it.
Nintendo’s online implementation on the Switch is nothing short of ridiculous. While the actual net code for online games is fine, the problem is with the way the feature set is handled, with fundamental functionality such as voice chat delegated to a smartphone app, instead of being supported natively on the system (though some games like Fortnite still support native voice chat on Switch).
This means that for the full online experience on the Switch, you need to download and synch up with the smartphone app. Which, apparently, a lot of people are doing. According to a report by mobile app analysis firm Sensor Tower, 5 million people have now installed the smartphone app, which would mean that a quarter of the Switch install base (almost 20 million at last count) is on board with it, if only grudgingly.
If these numbers are directly correlated to the number of subscriptions that the just launched Nintendo Switch Online service may have generated — which they don’t have to be, necessarily, but they can serve as somewhat of a base — then Nintendo probably is happy with the results. Which is a shame, because that means we’re stuck with this weird ass online implementation, instead of something reasonable that we could have gotten otherwise.