Nintendo Explains Their Approach to Voice Chat
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently explained why the company decided to channel the Nintendo Switch voice chat services onto smartphones instead of integrating functionality into their own platform.
“We believe the easiest way for you to connect and have a peer-to-peer experience with voice chat is with your mobile phone,” he said. “It’s always there, it’s always with you.”
For most of Nintendo’s major multiplayer games, you must use the Nintendo Switch Online app on Android or iOS to chat and create parties, which some people have derided. Of course, Nintendo has always been known to adopt unique strategies for its platforms, even in the face of consumer disapproval.
“Nintendo’s approach is to do things differently,” Fils-Aime said. “We have a much different suite of experiences than our competitors offer, and we do that in a different way. This creates a sort of yin and yang for our consumers. They’re excited about cloud saves and legacy content but wish we might deliver voice chat a different way, for example.”
When asked if Nintendo sees PlayStation and Xbox as competitors, Fils-Aime said “I don’t,” adding that he believes Nintendo is just competing for “entertainment time.”
“That’s what I compete for, minute by minute,” he continued. That time you spend surfing the web, watching a movie, watching a telecast of a conference: that’s all entertainment time we’re competing for. My competitive set is much bigger than my direct competitors in Sony and Microsoft. I compete for time. When I do that, I have to be creative and innovative in order to win that battle.”