After waiting for what seems like forever, we finally have preliminary information about the Nintendo Switch online service.
It’s officially called—you guessed it—Nintendo Switch Online. Very original, right?
According to Nintendo’s announcement, the service will go live in September with basic prices set at $3.99 per month. The plans increase from there, with 3 months costing $7.99, and 12 months at $19.99. There will also be an optional family plan that adds online support for up to eight accounts, and that will cost $34.99.
As you may know, Nintendo doesn’t have that many “online” games available on store or digital shelves just yet. So, even with that affordable price there must be more offered for active subscribers, right?
Yes, luckily there is. Though, I wouldn’t say Nintendo went all out this time around.
What Does the Nintendo Switch Online Service Include?
The Nintendo Switch Online subscription will be available starting in September, 2018.
The online support means that you can play titles like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Arms with the online community. In the past, online play was free, and it will continue to be so until the official subscription service launches in September.
Cloud backup will also be a welcome addition, allowing you to store backups of your saves through the official service. Should the local data on your console ever become corrupt you can simply overwrite it with a cloud save, provided you have the auto-backup support enabled. Here’s to hoping there will be some sort of auto-backup feature, we don’t know for sure yet.
Nintendo will also be offering a Netflix-esque library of NES games that you can play offline with an active service. Surprisingly, Nintendo promises online support for classic games too through various game modes and voice chat.
At launch there will be 20 NES games available, with more to come later.
What NES Games Are Confirmed for Launch?
20 NES games will be available at launch including Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, and more.
Right now, there are a total of 10 games confirmed to be ready at the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online service. Those are:
- Balloon Fight
- Donkey Kong
- Dr. Mario
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
The other 10 games remain a mystery for now. You’ll also notice that the ones confirmed seem to be mostly first-party. It will be interesting to see if games from other publishers make the cut.
Opinion: Is This Good?
The portability of the Nintendo Switch is what makes it so alluring to most.
Having just acquired a Switch for myself, I’ve been keeping busy with Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, neither of which are online games. My wife also picked up Super Mario Odyssey, and we have Stardew Valley for everyone, as well. Again, primarily we play games that don’t need online support. That means my experience with online is restricted to a few play sessions here or there when I borrowed a game or two.
For me, the handheld mode is the way to go with the Switch. Since online play needs a wireless connection it’s not something I’m after. That’s not to say the online games currently available aren’t worth it. Arms and Splatoon 2 are a ton of fun online. For my family, however, the online service isn’t going to be something we use, unless there’s a major game launch over the next few months that changes our playstyle.
I do have to say I cannot stand the fact that the voice chat feature is offered only through the mobile app. You must have your phone synced up with the Switch to even use it. I’m sure you’ve heard that plenty though, and with the recent announcement it’s clear that’s not changing anytime soon. Total bummer Ninty.
What say you fellow Switch owners? Is the Nintendo Switch Online service promising to you, or not?