Since Minecraft was recently released on the Nintendo Switch, I have been having a great deal of fun with it. However, it lacks one major feature that really brought the prior versions to life, in-game audio chat.
Now, the Switch version of Minecraft is brilliant in how it implements local multiplayer. That is amazing fun and really brings you and your friends together.
This is to my mind at least one of the best aspects of Minecraft, the joyous sense of working with friends to just make and create stuff.
That said, when Minecraft originally came to the 360 back in 2012 one of its most powerful features was the ability to communicate with friends with in-game audio chat. Talking with them online meant you could co-ordinate your efforts and build all manner of magnificent structures.
Being able to work and converse with your friends on the 360 version of Minecraft is still something I think is wondrous. To this day, I cannot think of a more genuinely lovely multiplayer setup than that in the 360 version of Minecraft. It was just so good to make stuff with friends and have fun.
Much of what made that work was its in-game audio chat for online multiplayer. While the Switch version partly offers its own route with local multiplayer options, the online setup feels like it is missing a crucial feature with the lack of in-game audio chat support.
Much of this is down to Nintendo’s unified and somewhat surreal setup for its online functionality, something that has still yet to be rolled out in its entirety.
However, the corollary of this is that Minecraft on the Switch is badly hobbled by the absence of in-game audio chat.
Like many gamers, I have all sorts of friends across the globe and we often play games together. The Switch definitely caters for local multiplayer games in a truly unique way but Minecraft needs full online support if it is to truly shine on this new console.