Update 1/31/2018: Nintendo of America has announced that Nintendo Switch Online will launch September, 2018!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 1, 2018
When the Nintendo Switch first launched, one of the bigger surprises was Nintendo’s decision to switch from a free online service platform to a fee-based membership service. Rumors started swirling immediately about what the service would cost, what it would include, and how it would impact the online gaming experience for Nintendo fans. Yesterday, Nintendo finally released more information about their new online service platform coming in 2018: Nintendo Switch Online.
The biggest difference between the online services they offer now and NSO is that it will no longer be free, starting in 2018. This new fee based online system is only affecting the online play of the Nintendo Switch, and will not affect the already existing free online play for the Wii U or 3DS family of systems.
There are three levels of pricing for the fee-based online membership: $3.99 for a 1-month membership, $7.99 for a 3-month membership, and $19.99 for a 12-month membership. These prices seem to be incredibly reasonable in comparison to the offerings of Microsoft and Sony, which are both $59.99 for a 12-month membership.
Some of the additional features that will be available with the NSO service include an online lobby and voice chat application that can be downloaded to your smart device and used with compatible games, an ongoing selection of classic titles available to download and play with new online features, and special offers that may include discounts on select games and content from the Nintendo eShop.
Nintendo made a statement to Kotaku saying
“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”
“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”
Hopefully this paid online service gives Nintendo the opportunity to become more competitive with the growing community of online gaming. I anticipate that the added revenue will allow them to enhance their online servers and create a more enjoyable experience for gamers and fans from around the world.
Nintendo Switch Online will remain free until it launches in 2018.
A native of Minnesota, Brandon has been an avid Nintendo fan for as long as he can remember and enjoys being able to escape into the vast worlds offered in their games. Some of his favorite games include: Pokemon Blue & Silver, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Risk of Rain 2, and of course LoZ: Breath of the Wild.
Outside of gaming Brandon enjoys riding motorcycle, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, watching movies, and is a big sports fan. He is always carrying his Switch with him wherever he goes, so feel free to add him if you’d like to lose at MK8D.