24

Devolution

June 9, 2017 by Tim

I guess there are some things I sort of take for granted that the video game industry has just figured the fuck out. Until recently, I thought “voice chat” was one of them. I mean, we’ve had it long enough, right? Most of the kinks have been worked out. Get a headset, talk to people while you play. Easy enough?

Sometimes we can even do it wirelessly. That’s a thing we’ve figured out, as a species. And then along comes Nintendo.

Now if they had said “Wired Headsets Only”, well, it might have been viewed as a small step backwards, but no big deal. Instead, they said “You can voice chat through your phone.” That’s right. They built us an app for our phones… so that we can make a phone call.

That was a hard enough pill to swallow. Then I saw the shit-show involved if you want to have your voice chat and game audio come through the same headset. Holy shit, who knew that was suddenly a complex undertaking?!


So basically just plug everything into that phallic dongle there and you too can obtain year 2000 technology, except with more wires.

The Switch has been on a great run since launch as far as I’m concerned, which is why this is so incredibly frustrating to me. It’s like, in some things Nintendo can be so innovative and on point, and then they present stuff like this that leaves me no choice to wonder “Did they just forget about this feature?” I mean, did get so wrapped up in making this console and the JoyCons that they started manufacturing and then one day looked at each other and said “Oh shit… what was our plan for multiplayer chat?”

Nintendo Online had better be damned good, that’s all I’m gonna say, because I’m now a little more concerned about features they’ve refused to elaborate on until suddenly they unveil a dumpster fire.

In other news, if you live in Australia or New Zealand, and want a copy of the Ctrl+Alt+Del 1.0 three-volume box set, good news! A month ago we loaded a pallet of those very books onto a boat, and that boat is expected to arrive down under next week! Once they’re through customs, they’ll be ready to ship!

If you live in Australia (where the books are being sent), click the button below to lock in your order for a book set. Book + Shipping = $120.

If you live in New Zealand, click the button below to lock in your order for a book set. Book + Shipping = $140.

There are 126 sets up for grabs, shipping to Aus or NZ, and once they’re gone, there will be no more at this price. You’d have to have one shipped from the US, and that costs like $150. Just for postage! It’s bananas, I know. It’s a really heavy book set and you guys are pretty far away.

So anyway, if you want one, don’t sleep on this opportunity.


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Spartan4845
Spartan4845
4 years ago

I’ll be 100% honest here… I’ve run into only a handful of people that use mics in the last couple of weeks… so I have lost all faith in any gaming with chat, other than PC.

James
James
4 years ago

So do we know that the app is the only way to have voice chat? I could see this as a reasonable work around for a mobility issue. If you don’t have wifi access then you wouldn’t be able to play online, none less with chat. Maybe this set up could allow for mobile online chat and play? I know I’m probably reaching here…

RP
RP
4 years ago

Well… still better than 2 cans with string.

mjc
mjc
4 years ago

Sony: Plug your 3.5mm headset into the controller. Done.
Microsoft: Plug your 3.5mm headset into the controller. Done.
Nintendo: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

I don’t mind Nintendo being unique when it brings us some cool new thing, like the Switch itself. But when they try to be unique just for the sake of being unique and it ends up making things insanely stupid… UGH. The fuck is wrong with you, Nintendo?!

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  mjc

Good anti-N00b stuff takes time.

Griever
Griever
2 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

There’s a lot of trial and error in new tech but when living in the age of Bluetooth, cables have no business being involved other than to charge your WIRELESS controllers and headsets!

Jortalus
Jortalus
4 years ago

Nintendo is 10 steps behind, and doesn’t even know what game we’re playing yet.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Jortalus

No, they are 3 ahead.
But the game they play has lots and lots of crossroads, so what might look like 3 steps ahead can also look like 5 steps behind.
It’s a cyclical and cynical process through which Nintendo manages to evolve unfortunately deeply embedded issues.

Diamond655
Diamond655
4 years ago
Reply to  Jortalus

I understood that reference.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Diamond655

Wait, whose reference?
I was unaware that I was making any reference.

Skorpeyon
Skorpeyon
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

It’s a reference to Arrow. A damn good line in it, too, honestly.

Diamond655
Diamond655
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

Was referring to Jortalus’ reference, to Arrow.

Galuna
Galuna
4 years ago

No one cares if you lime Nintendo Online, Tim. You’re not a gamer.

Galuna
Galuna
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

You win this round Tim.

SilverShadow4
SilverShadow4
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

LOL

David
David
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

WIN

pyrodice
pyrodice
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Don’t be silly, nobody ever had this sort of trouble with lemonwire.

MacLeod
MacLeod
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Fricken KEK!

AWillOfMyOwn
4 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Then you get a DDoS from a super powered scientist
😉

Austin
Austin
4 years ago

I think it’s just that up until VERY recently, online chatting wasn’t something Nintendo ever thought of doing. They have the image of being the family-friendly gaming company. When they give you multiplayer, you’re not playing against some stranger on the other side of the country. You’re playing against someone sitting right next to you. I think Tim’s right, though: they did invest all their time and energy into the Switch and its games, without taking into account stuff like online chat. I personally want to get a Switch and have absolutely no interest playing against anyone but close friends… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Austin

Then Splatoon appeared

Lt Granger
Lt Granger
4 years ago

So, first of all, HI <3

Second, I am an old fan of CAD, I stopped reading at the "end" of the Ethan story. I have a question, has it come back and if so, where would I find it?

I do love the stand alone comics you do its just that I am crazing some story at the moment.

I noticed the patreon link and it got me curious as to if it is for patreons only.

Thanks in advance. <3

Lt Granger
Lt Granger
4 years ago
Reply to  Lt Granger

So, going through your blog I just learned that series is called Analog and Dpad………ignore my comment and thank you……

FML

SilverShadow4
SilverShadow4
4 years ago
Reply to  Lt Granger

Sort of. Analog and D-Pad is a sort of reboot for how Tim wanted to reimagine them without such strict real life rules and drama, however if you’re really a fan of the original Ethan and Lucas story, you should buy the books he’s still selling, there’s some additional Ethan and Lucas stuff that’s amazing and totally worth buying it! I got the PDF version because I’m broke but I’m not certain if that’s still available.
If you’re looking for other fun stories of Tim’s, I love The Campaign, since I also play and DM Dungeons & Dragons.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  SilverShadow4

Also look at the Patreon for new Ethan and Lucas stuff.
In the A+D timeline and so they have their powers (like when Ethan does [SPOILERS] and then decides to [SPOILERS] to reduce the mess caused by [SPOILERS]) however they are acting almost as if it’s the original series, only Scott is in a wheelchair and presumably failed to get Ted and then doesn’t go on a revenge quest, and Zeke and Lilah aren’t around to do everything more than borderline sane.

Tim van der Meij
Tim van der Meij
4 years ago

Kiwi here, those box sets are amazing and worth it.

As for Nintendo, I shudder to think how they think they could handle something like VR, which has enough cables as it is. Oh wait, they did, they put it on a tripod. Because that makes far more sense than straps for your head.

Tue
Tue
4 years ago

Nintendo allready did AR with the 3DS. Also would probably just have the headset incorporate the Switch like those phone powered ones.

slash_trax
slash_trax
4 years ago

Does the switch do internet connected play with away from the base or does it require a close proximity for some sort or local area awareness? I ask because it is possible they were trying to overcome technical limitations for remote play.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago

Nintendo does best when they innovate…normally. As a “first to the market” they do great, see also the DS and the Wii. But when they attempt to make a halfhearted spin on a preexisting mechanism to make it new (like the gamecube and its many buttons, or the Wii U) they tend to flounder. So this is a minor hiccup. Just ignore that they made this and do a phone call, it’s that easy. As long as you aren’t chatting with someone you don’t know who happens to be a weekly psychopathic alcoholic who can easily find out where you… Read more »

Erik
Erik
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

Good points Hamstermer, I like your take on Nintendo’s innovation processes. On another note, I know you were coming from a lighthearted place in terms of psychopath naming, but I did find the “alcoholic” portion a little unnecessary. Alcoholics aren’t psychopaths (no more so than any other person), and vice versa. I’m not an alcoholic, but I happen to have met many in the last few years of my life, and I now recognize that they are basically all just people fighting an addiction, and sometimes themselves, and most who realize that are actively working on improving themselves. I’m not… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Erik

I’m saying a Psychopath who happens to also be an Alcoholic. I am fully aware that the two are not mutually exclusive but also are not always together. I probably should have thought through the word combination, but I understand your point. The idea was to bring up two instances of people that you wouldn’t want to know where you live if you don’t personally know them. My father has a friend who is a mild alcoholic and he is a great guy despite his addiction, so I know that alcoholic isn’t synonymous with a bad person. While I should… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Erik

Oh and thank you for not just spewing “how dare you and go BLEEP yourself”.
It’s good to know that there are people on the internet who usually calmly respond to things they have issues with.
🙂

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

I just plugged my Switch into the TV port on my Xbox One and use the Xbox overlay to use party chat and get game audio at the same time. I get that Nintendo uses a cellphone to allow you to chat when you’re away from home, but why would you play the Switch online without WIFI, and if you have WIFI why use a cellphone?

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian

So the secret of Nintendo to get people to use online chat is…
The Xbox?

Ian
Ian
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

No, the secret of Nintendo is that they DGAF because they know we’ll buy whatever they put out to get a dose of that sweet, sweet nostalgia. Xbox chat is just my way of working around this particular problem.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian

I was referencing a comment made by Tim some years ago. Though nostalgia is one of Nintendo’s secrets to success, they do make really good games. Just not shooters that look like the traditional CoD or Halo. (Unless you include Metroid but that in my mind is the original and ONLY THE PLATFORMER…or not :)) Still, the are some games that feel like they are a good game filled with money grabs. One example is Kirby Clash Deluxe, which is free but everything costs gem apples, the “premium currency” of the game. Want to have a new level which is… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

That said Nintendo makes really good games too, see also Sun and Moon, Link between worlds, Smash bros, Fire Emblem, Super Mystery Dungeon, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and several others. It even has some good free games like Pokemon Go which finally has managed to become a stable game though now like 1/5 of the original set play it, and also FE heroes I don’t myself play but I have heard it is really good.

Mitoni
Mitoni
4 years ago

This isn’t a new thing. The Turtle Beach PX22 I had used a similar passthrough adapter/amp. I could connect my phone to it to take a phone call through my PX22 headset without losing my in-game audio. Worked great if I got an important phone call during a raid. What they don’t mention here, but seems like the obvious purpose for this, is that you can run third party voice apps on your phone, like Discord, and use them while playing on the switch. Honestly though, since this entire debacle could be done with a bluetooth connection from your phone… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Mitoni

A…
uh…
I’m guessing that’s a headset?
Sorry I’m not really much into MMOs or games that (by coincidence) allow for voice chat. (Though trading in pokemon would be so much easier instead of attempting to motion ideas). I like single player games by coincidence, thought I do like me a good game of LBP or Smash.

Adam H Cook
Adam H Cook
4 years ago

My assumption here, is for phone and console to be used simultaneously or interchangably. As this is a mobile platform in many regards. The switch would either need to double as a media player, and or a phone.

ECA
ECA
4 years ago

iM A TECHNOPHOBE from the 70’s, and have seen TONS of interesting devices created over time..and time again..Its like KNOWING spacial quad stareo and wondering WHY it isnt still around.. WHY a TFT display has 1/2 the abilities that were created in the 70-80’s..Split screen, multi screen, Oct screen…3D FOR the Amiga failed because of Hz and a 30fps MAX…Iv seen the Old tech and the new, and am confounded that we need TONS of heat separation, and HOLEs in cases..and cooler master makes a CPU cooler that KEEPS the heat in the case?? Iv had head phones with builtin… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  ECA

Not to complain, but if you’re a technophobe then why are you on a video game oriented comic site?

Me-me
Me-me
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

I think he just means he’s not that familiar with technology, rather than actively avoiding it.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 years ago

I dunno. For an option that’s $40 less than Microsoft or Sony, I’m willing to put up with one more cord.

Brantman19
Brantman19
4 years ago

Hey Tim,

I am sure you have this planned out but this is a perfect Nintendo Army Grunt thing to “bitch” about for the Console Wars comic. Higher up trying to push “new” technology on the Switchers just to find out they took a huge step back.
I can see the PS4s and the Xboxs pushing forward with the wireless headsets and the Switchs getting tugged back in theirs by a tight wire holding back their “epic” advance. lol

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Brantman19

It probably be screwed up interfaces leading to miscalculated failed assaults. Also, Sony and Microsoft haven’t actually done the next gen system yet. “We can’t just put a new coat…on old equipment” – Paraphrased from a high ranking CW trooper. Sony is just…there. Microsoft is making yet another Xbox iteration. I don’t get it. Also I feel like this is why they keep on delaying KH III: As soon as they finish, say, the physics engine, a new console comes out. Right now SE is probably working on making it work for the Switch and actually having to…dare I say… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

*It probably will be

MacLeod
MacLeod
4 years ago

Robert Hooke ….who the hell is that?

*Looks up on Wiki* … holy shit, Your comic made me learn something.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
4 years ago
Reply to  MacLeod

Fun fact:
Wiki is actually Hawaiian for quick. Wikipedia actually means “Fast library”.

Harlie
4 years ago

Yeah…definitely not going to be using the voice chat feature at all.

cloudsgolden
cloudsgolden
4 years ago

My question is, do I have to use their app, or can I use say, Discord? Because I don’t give 2 craps about this if I can simply use Discord as my voice chat, it actually would be much better to me.

Amarus
Amarus
4 years ago

Just a heads up Tim, one of the ads on the site is redirecting to a spam bait site called safetygolock.xyz
I’m not sure what the ad looks like because I’m on mobile and it redirects me directly to a page that shows a “your device is infected” alerts. Got it a couple of times in a few seconds of reloading.

SanityFox
SanityFox
4 years ago

I dunno about voice chat being all that sorted out – Origins, Uplay & Steam chat still blow, most PC gamers I know (myself included) use third party options to make sure it works reliably. Though this looks like a bit of a cluster.

Zach
Zach
4 years ago

That’s Zack Morris’s phone.

AWillOfMyOwn
4 years ago
Reply to  Zach

How do you know that?
Unless….
*smells plot rising*

Tony
Tony
4 years ago

Bell did not invent the telephone

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
5 months ago

I think that games like Smite do communication a little better. It’s also complicated, but not as complex as this. Just a few short combination of keys is enough to signal anything from “attack!” To “Nice job!”