Nintendo has an infamously bad voice chat system for the Switch, requiring players for most games to use a separate smartphone app to actually talk to friends online, leading to terrible, hacked-together solutions like Hori’s headphone splitter just to work. But that’s changing today, thanks to Vivox, which is bringing its voice and text chat system to all Nintendo Switch developers with a new SDK.
You may not have heard of Vivox directly, but you’ve probably used it before — it already powers the existing voice chat in Fortnite, which coincidentally is also one of the only games on the Switch that has normal voice chat. (You just plug in a pair of headphones with a microphone into the headphone jack on the Switch and you’re good to go, no app required.) Vivox also powers chat in PUBG, League of Legends, World of Tanks, and more.
Vivox’s system is also cross-platform right out of the box, which is good news for developers working on games that let users play with friends on different consoles, which we’re thankfully seeing more of these days.
The new Switch Vivox SDK should be available for developers to download now from Vivox’s site, and the first Switch games with it should be rolling out soon: Hi-Rez Studio has promised updates for Smite and Paladins using the SDK soon.