Nintendo is throwing their lot in with Microsoft and Sony in the console den of premium online services. The Nintendo Switch will receive its premium online network roll out at the beginning of 2018, and Switch owners will have to pony up either $3.99 a month, $7.99 every three months, or $20 a year to continue to use the online modes for the home console.
The details were rolled out over on the official Nintendo website, where they explained that the online service will be free for the Switch throughout the remainder of 2018. So gamers who purchased Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, or plan to get Splatoon 2 or ARMS will be able to continue to enjoy the online network service for free up until 2018.
Nintendo has plans on monetizing the Nintendo Network for Switch owners thereafter, but Wii U and Nintendo 3DS owners will continue to be able to use the Nintendo Network for free, which includes playing games online, accessing the Nintendo eShop, and making use of lobbies and chat services for selected games.
Speaking of lobbies and chat services… Nintendo detailed what you would have access to if you decide to pay for the premium service by comparing it to what you get as a non-subscriber. You can check out the chart below.
One feature that’s actually kind of cool that I didn’t see coming was the online multiplayer support and chat lobbies for the Nintendo classics.
Called the Classic Game Selections, these offerings from Nintendo’s back-library of titles will enable Nintendo Switch owners to play old NES, Gameboy and SNES games with new and improved online multiplayer support. If they manage to implement this for their N64 line-up of games and bring those to the Switch’s Classic Game Selections, then Nintendo could be rolling in even more dough than they already are.
If you choose not to sign up for the premium online service, you’ll still have access to the Nintendo eShop, the ability to share media online, manage friends list and alter the parental controls through the app.
It’s a shame that Nintendo is following in the lead behind Sony and Microsoft, meaning that only PC is left as the platform where you can still play games online without an annual subscription.