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Nintendo Unveil Details for Nintendo Switch Online Service

A lot later than originally expected, earlier this week Nintendo of America finally unveiled the details of Nintendo Switch Online, the paid online service for their popular Nintendo Switch console.

 

 

In case you missed it, a little background. Around the time Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch console, it was announced that the console would receive a paid online service which would enable online play in supported games, as well as voice chat and a slew of other features. Nintendo had originally suggested this service would be ready within the first year of the console’s life; and pledged that Switch owners would be able to play online for free until the service launched. Things obviously took a lot longer, however; but now, thanks to the official Switch page on Nintendo of America’s website, we have all the details for the planned service, which launches in September 2018

 

First of all, remember the special version of Street Fighter II Nintendo launched for the Switch, which was modified to include support for Online Play? Turns out, that’s not a one-off. As part of the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online service, Nintendo has announced Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online, a special perk for paid subscribers which promises a selection of “20 NES games with added online play for the first time ever, and more games added regularly.” These launch titles include:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Donkey Kong™
  • Mario Bros.™
  • Super Mario Bros.™
  • Balloon Fight™
  • Ice Climber™
  • Dr. Mario™
  • The Legend of Zelda™
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 3
  • …And more to be revealed!

With online play added to every classic game, you can compete (or cooperate) online with friends, share your screen, or pass the controller, depending on the game. With the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, you can also voice chat during your play sessions.

Nintendo

 

Another piece of news that will likely delight Switch owners: Nintendo is finally planning to implement Save Data Cloud Backups to the Switch – though again, this will be a subscriber-only feature. Though Nintendo has yet to reveal exact details, the website promises more details will be made available “before the paid service launches in September.”

 

Of course, the real point of online services on a modern console is modern online play; and here’s where the disappointing news begins. As Nintendo had already announced, while Online Play will remain free for now, once Nintendo Switch Online launches in September, paid subscriptions will be required to play online in many first- and second-party Nintendo Switch titles – with a confirmed list so far of Splatoon™ 2, ARMS™, Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis™ Aces, and Sushi Striker™: The Way of Sushido. To their credit, Nintendo do state that the service may not apply to all Switch games – third-party developers are free to choose how they wish to implement their online features. Also going behind Nintendo’s paywall is the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, which will also be required for voice chat.

 

Nintendo have been careful to state, however, that not subscribing to Nintendo Switch Online will not cripple the capabilities of your Switch console. Non-subscribers will still receive console and software updates as usual; and will also retain access to the Nintendo eShop, Friends List (including registering and managing friends), and Parental Controls; and will still be able to share in-game screenshots to their social media.

 

So what’s the cost? Nintendo have unveiled four pricing tiers for the Nintendo Online Service, which you will be able to purchase through their website, in-console via the Nintendo eShop, or through select retailers once the service launches. The first three cover individuals. Each Nintendo Account holder can purchase a month of Individual membership to the Nintendo Online Service for $3.99 USD; or lengthen their subscriptions to 3 or 12 months for the reduced prices of $7.99 USD or $19.99 USD respectively. Each Individual membership is valid for one account only.

 

The other option, called “Family membership”, is tailored specifically for larger families with individual accounts for each person. For $34.99 USD, a household can purchase a 12-month subscription for a maximum of eight Nintendo Network accounts, by first activating the subscription on one account and then inviting the others to a family group.

 

There’s one last perk that might swing a few of you still on the fence about purchasing Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo have promised that subscribers will also be entitled to future special offers from Nintendo that will not be available to non-subcribers, with details “to be revealed”. It remains to be seen how tempting these offers will be, but it’s fair to say – Nintendo is really trying hard to make paid online attractive to as many Switch owners as it can.


May 9th, 2018 by CrimsonShade
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 at 2:10 am and is filed under Gaming, General, Nintendo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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