Complete Guide To Everything We Know About Nintendo Online
Learn all the new details surrounding the Nintendo Switch's subscription-based service.
Even though the Nintendo Switch has been out for months, up until very recently, players hadn't been given any indication of what sort of online service Nintendo would create to unite Switch players across the internet. Fortunately that has changed, as the company has formally revealed Nintendo Online, a paid online subscription service for Nintendo Switch players.
Nintendo Online: Features and Fees
First things first: Nintendo Online does have a fee, and paying that fee will be necessary in order to play Switch games online once the service goes live next year. However, the price is a trifle when compared to competing services like PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live: at only $20 per year, Nintendo Online comes in at less than half the cost of the competition.
With that said, the purported features of Nintendo Online aren't exactly as exciting as those of other subscription services: firstly, players will still have to use a mobile app in order to use voice communication on the Nintendo Switch, although we now know that the app in question will be one forged by Nintendo themselves.
Nintendo Online Classic Game Library
Secondly, while Nintendo does have plans to allow players immediate access to a backlog of games -- sort of like PlayStation Now or the Xbox Game Pass -- it seems Nintendo's service will be limited to classic NES titles, at least for the time being. The company has listed the likes of Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario as potential examples, and has stated they're considering including SNES titles for the service in the future.
Nintendo Switch Online includes ongoing access to a library of classic games you can take anywhere! pic.twitter.com/TtRKcImCiS— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 2, 2017
This is good news for players keen on using their Switch to play old-school games, especially considering that Nintendo had previously stated that their service would include one free game per month; that policy has changed, and now players will be able to enjoy the NES catalog of games on the Nintendo Switch for as long as they are a Nintendo Online subscriber.
Does Nintendo Online Replace The Virtual Console?
As of the moment, Nintendo still has no formal plans to bring a Virtual Console-like service to the Nintendo Switch; when asked if a Virtual Console will ever land on their latest hybrid system, mum continues to be the word. However, the company has promised that more games will be added to the Nintendo Online classic game library at later dates, and with the possibility of future SNES games landing on the service, players will at least have a close approximation to a Virtual Console.
In addition, there's very little drawback for curious players who want to see how the Nintendo Online classic games library will function: at only $4 for a single month or $8 for three months, players can check out all the library has to offer for essentially the same price of a single Nintendo 3DS Virtual Consoles SNES release; being able to play games like Arms or Splatoon 2 online could just be considered an added bonus.
There's no firm launch date given for Nintendo Online, but players can expect to see the service up and running sometime in 2018. Until then, online play with the Nintendo Switch will continue to be free.
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