Nintendo’s Online Plans for the Switch, coming in 2018

If you have been enjoying your Nintendo Switch, you are not alone. With just about 3 million Switches in the hands of the gamers, the hybrid portable/console is off to a great start. That said, it would not be Nintendo if there are not some missteps along the way. The lack of voice chat options, friend codes (still!?), and selling you a charging grip for your Joy-cons while packing in a non-charging one amongst other niggling issues.

There also remain questions about the online service for the Switch, thankfully, we have more information about that now.

Costing around US$20 per year, the Nintendo Switch’s online service will come into play sometime in 2018 and will be required for online play when it launches. You can also opt for either a one-month subscription (US$4) or a three-month variant (US$8). When it comes to online lobbies and voice chat, the company stated that:

“Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device. A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.”

Initial plans were to grant subscribers free versions of classic titles with online features added. Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario, and Balloon Fight were some of the games that will be coming, with a different game each month. However, these plans have changed. Now, subscribers will have an ongoing access to a library of classic games with the added online features, instead of a rotating title. You will also be able to play these games as long as you have an active subscription, much like PlayStation Plus.

When this service launches, the library will include NES games, with SNES games being under consideration. Perhaps Nintendo does listen to its fans after all, but with no word on the Virtual Console yet and other issues to address, there is still a long way to go for Nintendo to realise the full potential of the Switch.

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