The Voice Chat Software In Fortnite Switch Is Now Available For All Developers

Screenshot: Nintendo, YouTube

All Switch developers can now licence the voice-chat software that powers the Switch version of Fortnite, the company behind the tech said today. That means an easy solution for developers who want to let you chat in Switch games using a headset plugged into the console, and not Nintendo’s bizarro-world phone app.

Vivox, a tech company that focuses on voice and text chat in online games, said today that any authorised Switch developers can now integrate its Vivox SDK software kit into their game, helping pave the way for Switch owners to play video games more like everyone on literally every other major gaming platform.

In games that use Vivox SDK, players will be able to communicate out loud with one another simply by plugging in a headset with a mic into the Switch’s existing audio jack. Epic Games’ Fortnite already does this, and Vivox said today that Hi-Rez Studio will be bringing the same feature to Smite and Paladins in future updates.

The chat tools will also extend to Switch games that incorporate cross-play with PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4. Gone will be the days of trying to coordinate high-level strategies in team-based competitive games through in-game gestures and pings alone.

It turns out this was not the future of voice-chat on Switch after all. (Photo: Kotaku)

When Splatoon 2 launched on the Switch in July 2017, Nintendo debuted the Nintendo Switch online app for smartphones as its official solution for players that wished to communicate with one another during online play.

Instead of having in-game voice chat, like in every other online shooter, Splatoon 2 required players to link up through the app and communicate using the mics on their smartphones. It was not good.

In June 2018, Fortnite launched on the Switch with normal, in-game voice chat, raising the question of why other games couldn’t do something similar. Increasingly, they have been. When Warframe launched last year, it also included in-game voice chat.

Arena of Valor, a free-to-play MOBA, released last fall without voice chat, though its developers said they were working on adding it—an understandable priority given that one of the game’s genres listed on its Nintendo page is “communication.”

In addition to Splatoon 2, a few other games now utilise the Nintendo Switch Online app for the purposes of voice chat as well, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a solution Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime told Kotaku in a 2017 interview would “deliver a better, more robust execution.”

Fortunately, it seems like going forward, more games will have better options for letting people talk with each other. Like just plugging a headset into the Switch, for example.


    Now we just need native bluetooth headphones support for Switch and we are golden!

    How have Kotaku not reported that Xbox Live is coming to the Switch yet? Who knows if it ever makes it to Australia, but the potential is there!

    Well I'm glad that in-game voice chat will be included with all the other developers when playing the Nintendo Switch.
    But using voice chat on your phone using the Nintendo Switch Online app no way not gonna friggin happen.

      Holy shit.

      This is a comment from James that is critical of Nintendo.

      This is a rare sight guys!

    Of course, the big difference between this and the cross game party chat found on other consoles is that it comes out of the game's resource budget rather than the operating system's.

    For all it's awkwardness, Nintendo's phone based solution does give you a platform that would allow cross game chat and staying in the party when stopping the game. It would have been better if they had dealt with this from the start, but it's not the end of the world.

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