The Nintendo Switch Online mobile app will be released with Splatoon 2 on July 21, according to a press release from Nintendo.
SplatNet 2, which will come with the Nintendo Switch Online app, is how players can communicate in Splatoon 2. Using SplatNet 2, players can see their stats from playing matches in Splatoon 2, view different stage schedules, display the gear that they’ve earned/bought for other players to see, and even show how much ink the player has spread over a lifetime. The functions of SplatNet 2 can be used regardless if you are in-game or not, according to the press release.
In terms of online communications, SplatNet 2 allows players to invite their friends to Private Battles, League Battles, Splatfest Battles and Salmon Run and gives push notifications when the invites come rolling in. The invites can be sent by both the Nintendo Switch itself and through messengers and social media (although it isn’t clarified which social media websites can utilize the Nintendo Switch Online app). Players can also talk to friends in the lobby and in-game, so that they can strategize before entering a match.
More information on SplatNet 2 can be found on the Splatoon 2 official website.
Splatoon 2 is currently the only game that will be utilizing the Nintendo Switch Online app. The app’s features will be limited, mostly to be used for SplatNet 2 and more games that can use these online functions will be added in the future. SplatNet 2, along with the Nintendo Switch Online app, will be free until paid online services will be added to the app in 2018 according to the Nintendo Switch Online app official website.
Nintendo’s idea of integrating online services into a smartphone app was met with much criticism since players would possibly have to pay extra for data depending on how much they use the app and if the player has a consistent internet connection. Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 all have online communications available directly in the console, without the need of an external device (like a smartphone) to use these features.
Also, the Nintendo Switch Online app is restricted only to users who have smartphones. Although most people these days have smartphones, younger children who are allowed to use the Nintendo Switch and online communications may not have the opportunity to.
Despite all of these issues and concerns, Nintendo plans to stick to using a mobile app for Nintendo Switch Online.
SplatNet 2 was announced yesterday during the Splatoon 2 Nintendo Direct, which is currently available on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel. Splatoon 2 will enhance some of Splatoon‘s older features, while adding a new, fresh spin on the popular franchise (including deeper character customization, new weapons, stages, play modes, story and more). Obviously, the ability to use SplatNet 2 is a definite game-changer for fans of the Splatoon franchise.
“Splatoon 2 is a huge, robust sequel to the original Splatoon,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in the press release. “Fans that played and loved the first game will have plenty of new stuff to enjoy, while the game is also a great introduction for players new to the colorful and stylish series.”
As mentioned before, the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app and SplatNet 2 will coincide with Splatoon 2‘s release on July 21 of this year.
I’m not surprised that Nintendo would want to send out a sort of “demo” of what their online communications will be like with the release of Splatoon 2, a game that uses a lot of social aspects when playing and fooling around with friends or strategizing to try to win the game against opponents.
Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames.