Nintendo Switch finally gets Bluetooth audio

The latest Nintendo Switch system update, out now, has finally brought Bluetooth audio pairing to the handheld.

After an epic and brutal four year struggle against impossible odds, Nintendo has achieved a landmark breakthrough and successfully completed the herculean feat of enabling Bluetooth audio device pairing on Switch devices.

Announced via Twitter, the update is live now.

Ahead of the launch of the upgraded Switch OLED console, this new update allows users to pair audio output devices to their Nintendo Switch using the Bluetooth functionality that has been part of the hardware since release.

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Of course, there are some (many) limitations to the feature, so if you recently bought an external Bluetooth adapter for your Switch, don't lament it as a wasted expense just yet. When any audio device is connected with Bluetooth, a maximum of 2 controllers may be connected to the console and further controllers can only be connected if you remove the Bluetooth audio device.

The Bluetooth audio device will automatically disconnect whenever any local communication takes place, and Bluetooth microphones cannot be used. Also, there is a limit of one Bluetooth audio device that can be connected at any given time, though the Switch can save up to 10 for easy reconnection.

This update, while welcome, also shined an uncomfortable spotlight onto the feature shortcomings of the Switch which Nintendo still hasn't resolved after four years on the market. That said, the update does seem tactically timed for the impending release of the Switch OLED, itself sporting a broad array of quality-of-life updates and upgrades both in terms of hardware and software.

Already sporting better speakers and an upgraded screen, the OLED will also have a fancier kickstand and several other smaller improvements to subtly improve the overall experience. With Bluetooth audio pairing already being a feature once it ships, the new console will be an even easier sell.

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Even so, we hope to see the Bluetooth and online capabilities of the Nintendo Switch improved on further - remember when Nintendo's official assumption of online play involved a jack splitter and a separate mobile device for communication? We still have a long way to go.

Maybe we'll get other themes beyond basic black and basic white four years from now?

Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. When not writing, editing or playing, you can find Aron on Facebook.