Nintendo has finally gone live with details surrounding the upcoming online service for the Nintendo Switch, and it sounds like a great deal. The service, when it finally goes live proper, will cost $20 a year and should be touching down at some point in 2018. While Nintendo is working out the details to get the services settled and in place for 2018, playing Switch games online will be free of charge.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 2, 2017
Paid subscribers will get access to a Netflix-like service with classic games with additional online features, such as Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Balloon Fight. It had been announced that these games would cycle out each month, but now there will be a library of classic games that users can play as much as they want as often as they want with an active subscription. This appears to be localized to a NES-only selection right now, but Super Nintendo titles are apparently under consideration, according to Nintendo. This could be a nod to a potential Virtual Console replacement in the end.
Further, voice chat and game lobbies won’t be available on the Switch. Instead, players will have to leverage a smartphone app that Nintendo plans to release this summer that will allow you to invite friends to play online, chat with them, and set up times for you to meet online to play. This is the same app that the paid service will run off of, though a free version will be available for download later this year without all the bells and whistles of the paid version. You can opt for a one-month subscription package of $4, and a three-moth subscription for $8.
Now that Nintendo’s finally let the cat out of the bag about further online service features, it’s time to decide if you’ll want to pay for the privilege of online play. Really, $20 a year is a pittance for access, especially when you get a library of classic games as well. We’ll have to wait and see what the app offers when it makes its debut.