Switch Finally Gets BT Audio

Four years? Four years! Finally!

There are some limitations here… first, the controllers use Bluetooth as well, so you can only have 1 pair connected at a time. This outlier is where for some reason, you have people playing the console locally but without HDMI in use. Maybe a Mario Party game while you’re in the car? I can’t really think of too many situations where you need 4 controllers and bluetooth audio.

Second, you can only have 1 active Bluetooth audio on at a time (but can save 10 devices). This is fine I guess, split Bluetooth across multiple devices at the same time is a pain. I guess any local multiplayer game, like 2P Mario Kart you’d be stuck with regular audio. Maybe for those long car rides… you’d have to play with the audio off?

Third, is that you can’t have local multiplayer across multiple devices and Bluetooth audio. I get why, the Switch uses Bluetooth to host local games, rather than a subset of WiFi. This is the one that seems the largest impact to me. There are numerous instances of 2P meeting each other for some local gaming and this means that they need to stay wired (or the weird bypass option). Doesn’t look like this problem will ever be solved without a full re-architecture of the Switch.

Still, for those situations where you want to game without using a TV, and have some sort of practical use for the kickstand, this is a win. It’s also a confirmation that the device was built with this in mind a long time ago, as only firmware was required. In that respect, impressive planning and I can only assume the hurdles Nintendo had to surmount to get this thing work consistently. 4 years!

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