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One of the big question marks regarding the Nintendo Switch last year was how Nintendo would incorporate its subscription-based online service. This week Nintendo has finally revealed its pricing and features for playing games online. The Nintendo Switch Online service goes live in September.
The online service will be called Nintendo Switch Online. You’ll need it to continue playing games like Splatoon 2 online. It’s available in four different packages:
- 1 Month: $3.99
- 3 Months: $7.99
- 12 Months: $19.99
- Family Membership (12 months): $34.99
The Family Membership allows for up to eight Nintendo Account holders to use the Online service, including on multiple systems.
These prices make Nintendo Switch Online a far cheaper option than Sony or Microsoft’s online memberships, which begin at $9.99 per month, or $59.99 for the year.
PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live include monthly free games and exclusive discounts. Nintendo is offering an exclusive library of NES titles, many of which they’ll be able to play online. The initial collection will include 20 games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda, with 10 more games coming in the future. These NES games will support voice chat via Nintendo’s smartphone app.
Kotaku is reporting that despite featuring these NES games as part of Nintendo Switch Online, the Virtual Console will not be returning to Nintendo Switch. The Virtual Console has been a mainstay on Nintendo consoles since the Wii, offering a one-stop digital store for classic titles.
“There are a variety of ways in which classic games from Nintendo and other publishers are made available on Nintendo Switch, such as through Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo eShop or as packaged collections,” the Nintendo spokesperson told Kotaku. “Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online will provide a fun new way to experience classic NES games that will be different from the Virtual Console service, thanks to enhancements such as added online play, voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online app and the various play modes of Nintendo Switch.”
Nintendo Switch Online membership will also feature cloud backup for save games.
Until now online play has been in an extended free trial mode since the Switch first launched. The Nintendo Switch Online service will launch in September.
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As previously announced during the March Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 2 has received a major update. The Version 3.0 patch adds more than 100 pieces of gear, new songs, a new top-tier X Rank for Ranked Battles, and the return of Callie of the Squid Sisters. The free update is available now.
“As promised when the game was first announced, we are determined to provide players with new experiences and content in Splatoon 2,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. “Through these regular updates, we are ensuring that both players old and new will log on to fun new experiences.”
The major new addition is X Rank. X Rank is an ‘extremely challenging’ tier of Ranked Battle mode that features only the best Splatoon players. Only players who are S+10 in the current Splatoon 2 rankings will be moved to X Rank. Players within X Rank will battle with each other for X Power levels. The top 500 players with the highest X Power level for the four different Ranked modes will be announced once a month on SplatNet 2.
X Rank requires constant battling, as rankings reset every month. Players who fail to meet the X Rank threshold will fall to S+9. The first X Power reset will take place May 31. Future resets will occur on the final day of each month. These Ranked resets will also rotate the pool of selected stages.
The new 3.0 update also adds more than 100 items, some of which are returning from the original Splatoon. Fans of Splatoon’s uniquely snappy soundtrack can enjoy more music tracks from in-game band Chirpy Chips.
Finally Callie of the Squad Sisters will maker her long-awaited return. Callie will appear in Tentakeel Outpost in Octo Canyon. She will provide multiplayer stats to visiting players.
View the full Version 3.0 patch notes, including any bug fixes and weapon balancing.
Splatoon 2 released last summer as a Nintendo Switch exclusive sequel to Wii U’s Splatoon. It’s a competitive team-vs-team 3rd person shooter involving paint guns and unique squid-changing kids. It’s rated E for Everyone.
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