Last week, Nintendo released a new update for the firmware of their latest and hot-selling hybrid console-portable game system, the Nintendo Switch. The new 4.0.0 firmware added a number of significant improvements to the list of features that could be done on the game system. This includes the ability to record video footage and perform data transfers of player profile and game saves to another console. It turns out; these were not the only additions. Several days later, as gaming news site Polygon reports, Switch players who have updated their firmware discovered another nifty feature that has not been advertised: the addition of wireless USB support for wireless headphones that do not use the audio headphone jack.

Unexpected but welcomed

According to tech news source The Verge, some players of the Nintendo Switch noted on Reddit that the system interface was now able to detect USB connection for wireless devices, most especially wireless headsets. All one needs is a headset with a wireless USB dongle. Once the dongle is plugged into an empty port in the back of the Switch dock, the firmware can recognize it and allow the player to control the volume, among other things.

Even better, players using wireless headphones with a USB-C connector are not forgotten either. The Nintendo Switch dock might not have USB-C ports, but its portable component does. A player needs only to undock the Switch "tablet" in order to plug in a USB-C dongle directly to it.

Those who have USB connectors for their wirelesses can avail of a USB-A to USB-C adapter to pull the same trick for gaming on the move. But what is very interesting to note about this new system was the sheer variety of wireless USB headsets that can work with the Switch after the firmware update. It will even accept Sony headphones that are designed to work with the PlayStation 4.

Reason for USB support

There has been some considerable discussion between Switch users over the wireless USB feature, completely unannounced along with all the new system functions during Nintendo’s 4.0.0 firmware update. Some reviewers believe it is a contingency for the rather subpar experience with the game system’s voice chat setup.

The original complex procedure involves a wired headset connected to a splitter that then connects to both the Switch and a smartphone. With a wireless USB headset instead, a Switch user just needs to download a Nintendo app on their smartphone. The wireless headphone setup can seamlessly integrate into the system in a way wired set could not.

While the wireless USB headset support is a welcome addition to the technological muscle of the Nintendo Switch, the hybrid game system is still short of one other wireless communication capability: Bluetooth support. Perhaps that will have to wait for some other time.