What just happened? Out of the blue, a tweet from Nintendo of America has unveiled the arrival of the highly anticipated Bluetooth audio feature for Switch consoles. What is intriguing is that it comes with a set of limitations that might make it seem somewhat unappealing to fans of Mario, Zelda and the rest of the Nintendo gang.
The Nintendo Switch has been on the market for over four years, and during all this time it remained without one highly requested feature: Bluetooth audio. Today that's changed all of a sudden...
The latest #NintendoSwitch update is now available, including the ability to pair Bluetooth devices for audio output.— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 15, 2021
For more information, including restrictions on some features while using Bluetooth Audio, please visit the support page: https://t.co/vzAB6lZTDu pic.twitter.com/6J5xcDl5kU
Big N finally responded to the demands for Bluetooth audio connectivity. If you're a Switch owner and wanted to get rid of dongles for wireless audio experiences, rejoice. Then again, some fans might be disappointed, for the news are not all rosy and shiny. Unfortunately, the update is marred by a number of limitations, as listed below:
- While using Bluetooth audio, you can only connect up to two wireless controllers. The Bluetooth audio device must be disconnected in order to allow three or more wireless controllers
- Bluetooth audio is disconnected during local communication, this includes local wireless multiplayer sessions
- You can save up to 10 Bluetooth audio devices on a Nintendo Switch system, but only one can be paired at a time
- You cannot use Bluetooth microphones
- There might be audio latency depending on the Bluetooth device being used
Since Bluetooth microphones are barred, voice chat on the Switch basically stays bound to the Nintendo Switch Online mobile application, with mandatory use of a smartphone or another mobile device. There is an alternative called Vivox, that started implementing voice chat for multiplayer games available on the Switch a few years ago however.