We finally have a few more details on what Nintendo plans to offer Switch owners as far as an online service is concerned. Nintendo Switch Online will arrive in 2018 and provide online lobbies, voice chat, and classic game offerings. According to Nintendo, there will be a “smart device app” that will connect to the Switch thus allowing you to join voice lobbies and to setup online parties. Nintendo also says that users will be able to download “a complilation of classic titles with added online play”.
Pricing will run $3.99 a month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 annually. And according to the attached chart (below), online gameplay will only be free until the paid online service launches. You can find Nintendo’s blog here: Nintendo Switch Online Announcement
|Online gameplay||•||Free until 2018|
|Online Lobby & Voice Chat app||•||–|
|Classic Game Selection
(Product name subject to change)
|Nintendo eShop deals||•||–|
|Access to Nintendo eShop||•||•|
|Register and manage Friends||•||•|
|Share screenshots to social media||•||•|
|Access to Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app||•||•|
It seems that the paid online service for the Switch has been delayed again. Originally expected by Summer, it was then pushed to Fall of 2017, and now to 2018. Nintendo is still being extremely vague with details as well. We have no idea what this “smart device app” entails but if early discussions are to be believed it would mean using your phone to organize all online activities. We’re also curious about the classic game offering and how that will be handled. In the end, today’s announcement doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know other than price. Given the meager $19.99 annual fee which could be a positive, it does leave concern that Nintendo still isn’t investing heavily into online architecture and as such, games and services will still primarily run on P2P connections. It’s tough to be disappointed when details are vague, but as of right now we don’t feel this is extremely promising.