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Finally there’s a controller for the Nintendo Switch that has built-in voice chat

Spoiler: It’s not from Nintendo

nintendo switch controller with voice chat
Image: PDP

While the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console, one aspect of the console is decidedly sub-par: in-game voice chat. Vivox and PDP have teamed up to try and fix the problem, with a new wired controller for the Switch that has inbuilt voice chat. There is one big proviso though – only games with Vivox’s multiplayer chat built-in will work with the new Faceoff Deluxe+ controller.

That does mean that Fortnite will work with the $24.99 controller, and with Vivox having an open SDK (Software Development Kit) for game designers to include in their titles, presumably more games will be compatible in the future.

Voice chat on the Nintendo Switch is easily the worst thing about the successful console

Nintendo’s decision to not only make a dedicated app required for most voice chat but to also to make paying for Nintendo Switch Online to use it a necessity was one of the only missteps made by Nintendo. That mobile app has its own long list of restrictions, although it did get the two worst issues patched out at the end of 2017, allowing chat to continue if the user switched to another app or if their smartphone’s screen went dark.

The controller has a 3.5mm jack for a headset, which handles both the Vivox in-game chat and game audio, just like other console controllers. There are also two programmable buttons on the bottom of the controller, something almost unheard of with a controller in this price range. You can get it in purple or red camo from PDP, or you can swap on any of PDP’s Faceoff faceplates to customize it to your preferences.

The Faceoff Deluxe+ is wired, with a 10-foot long USB cable, low-friction metal analog sticks, and onboard audio controls.

Pre-orders start in May on pdp.com and selected retailers.

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