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.