In 2015, Nintendo made waves with its new 4v4 ink-shooting IP, Splatoon. Despite the lack of content out of the gate, its constant comic action and seemingly endless stream of additions soon took the world by storm. It’s now 2017, and the Turf Wars of olde have all but been laid to rest. Just not for long, thanks to Splatoon 2.
Splatoon 2 is due for release on the Switch this summer, and it includes a feature fan of the first game sorely missed: voice chat with teammates. A quote from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima talks about the feature as well as the game’s eSport potential.
“Splatoon 2 in particular will offer voice chat, a much-requested feature from our overseas fans, using smart devices and the ability to bring eight Nintendo Switch systems together for eight-person local multiplayer. In this way, we are working to create titles and environments to invigorate the competitive gaming scene so that a wider demographic of customers can enjoy, talk about, and continue playing the Nintendo Switch.”
— Splatoon（スプラトゥーン） (@SplatoonJP) February 1, 2017
Aforesaid voice chat in Splatoon 2 works via a smartphone app. After inviting friends via social media, players can begin a private match in-game. While the combatants are being gathered and sorted by the system, they are free to chat and talk smack with each other at will. From the moment the teams are set in stone, players will only be able to talk to their own teammates. Smart – you wouldn’t want your opponents to listen in on your coordination efforts, now would you?
Although the use of a smartphone app for voice chat is more than a little silly when other game systems provide the same service built-in. Hopefully, this app will just be one of the options and not the only way. But however it’s done, voice chat will certainly go a long way toward making Splatoon 2 an eSports staple. The first game was such a hit, it’s a wonder it isn’t already there.