Nintendo launches companion iOS app for Switch console

Nintendo Switch Game Stop Stock ‘Splatoon 2’ release will bring new supply — and not just in bundles

Nintendo SwitchSource Xavier Harding Mic

For one, users need to have their smartphone's screen active while they are using the app - it can't be in sleep mode. There's also the Nintendo Switch Online App, which Nintendo quietly rolled out a few days early this week.

What does the Switch Online app actually do?

Once it does, users will be able to log into the app with their Nintendo Account that is associated with their Switch console.

Splatoon 2 is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo's history with online services on its game consoles is, to put it nicely, quite poor. The $499.99 Nintendo Switch fan bundles are the priciest, but are the most recommendable. The paid subscription service was supposed to launch this fall, but has now been delayed to 2018. Once the company starts charging for the full service, though, you'll be paying $20 for the whole year.

The Nintendo Switch Online app supports iOS 9.0 or later and Android 4.4 or newer. In addition, Nintendo says the voice chat will stop when you open another app. The app launch is in preparation of the first title that will support it - Splatoon 2, which comes out on July 21.

Next, I turned my attention to the app, but at this point, there's nothing to see or do. At the moment, we recommend that you download the Nintendo Switch Online app and install it on your device so you can avoid the last-minute scramble, which may congest their servers. For starters, the in-app voice chat lobby is presented with typical Nintendo verve.

It's once you've raised your game to Level 10 status that things really get riotous. Juggling two different devices for basic online services is enough of a headache; sacrificing that much more of your battery to the Nintendo gods just to talk to your friends online while you're playing a video game. this is fundamentally bad design.

OK, moving on. How do I invite friends to come play with the app?

And while I haven't had the chance to try it, Splatoon 2 also supports "turf war" battles across LAN play, letting you connect up to 10 systems via a wired connection.

The game upgrades include a brand-new cooperative horde mode. Once you've done that, send a notification to your phone. Swapping between apps also closes it, meaning no multi-tasking to your texts, Twitter, or email - you must commit to using it, or chat will be cut off. You play as one of the squid-human race of Inklings whose ink-swimming and shooting powers make them uniquely suited to raising technicolored hell. It's a fiddly notion, and needlessly so, but I'd be willing to accept it if it worked, and offered a seamless, enjoyable way of interacting with my online games.

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