Nintendo has confirmed some details regarding the online services offered by its new home and handheld hybrid console Nintendo Switch, specifying the functions that can be carried out by the accompanying mobile app.
Asked by GameSpot how smartphones would tie into Switch, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said: "The smartphone app that we're creating, that will be part of our online service, we believe is going to be a very compelling part of the overall proposition because that's how you'll voice chat, that's how you'll do your matchmaking, and create your lobby.
"We also think it's a very elegant solution because if you've taken your switch on the go, you've put yourself in a hotspot, you're looking at get a quick match of Mario Kart in, to whip out some sort of bulky, gamer headset is a bit of a challenge."
It seems the app would be capable of carrying out these functions to support Switch's partly handheld nature, but that's not say the app would exclusively handle matchmaking and lobbies.
At last week's Nintendo Switch presentation (13 January 2017), Nintendo revealed that Switch's online service would be free for a few months when the console is launched on 3 March before becoming a premium service in the autumn.
The accompanying app would be made available in the summer while the service is still free, but this comes after the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on 28 April, which will feature online play. It's hard to imagine the game launching without the Wii U original's built-in matchmaking.
Switch owners would get access to online play in March with lobbies, voice chat and a monthly NES or Super Nintendo download arriving in the autumn. Matchmaking would presumably be included from March, though this isn't clear. Nintendo has not yet announced a price structure for the service.
The messaging in regard to the online service has been poor, with these comments only serving to make things more complicated.
Switch is able support games as both a home console and a handheld, with the switch (get it?) between the two being, essentially, instantaneous. The device also features motion-controllers and supports a more traditional pro-controller.
Nintendo Switch launches on 3 March with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, Just Dance 2017 and Skylanders Imaginators as its launch-day titles.