The Switch’s online service will official launch in September 2018 and will be required to play any game online. Today, games like Arms, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are currently free to play online but this will change in September. There will be three tiers to subscriptions.
– 1 month for $3.99
– 3 month for $7.99
– 12 month for $19.99
In addition to these three plans, Nintendo will be offering a family plan for $34.99 per year that allows up to eight profiles to connect online.
Nintendo has officially confirmed they have no plans on bringing a Virtual Console service to Switch like they did on Wii and Wii U. However, this paid online subscription will include classic Nintendo games with newly implemented online features. For example, The Legend of Zelda will allow players to share their screen to play between two Switches.
Here are a list of the NES games that will be included at launch:
– Donkey Kong
– Mario Bros.
– Balloon Fight
– Ice Climber
– Dr. Mario
– The Legend of Zelda
– Super Mario Bros. 3
Finally, Nintendo has promised online cloud saves for Switch will be included in the subscription price. This should be a very welcomed featured because losing your 100-hour Breath of the Wild save would be heart breaking. In comparison, Sony and Microsoft also support cloud saves. Nintendo also said there will be exclusive deals available on the eShop for online subscribers.
$20 for a year is a low cost especially when compared to Xbox Live or PS+. Cloud saves are awesome but it is kind of shady they are tucked behind a pay wall. No Virtual Console is a major bummer but that least Nintnedo is still doing something with their old library. Hopefully games like Balloon Fight or Ice Climber will feature online co-op with no lag. Also, these are just NES games. Perhaps SNES or even N64 will receive some type of update with this online service, or even allow 3rd party games. The biggest let down is the lack of voice chat, a universal achievement system, and an easy way to swap friend data. I guess to be fair, it is only $20 so perhaps we are getting what we pay for? Still, these general quality of life features would make the Switch experience better. Also, will these NES games always be available, or will they only be temporarily be playable sort of like the rotating stock of movies on Netflix. Nintendo might reveal more details at this year’s E3.