Up until now online multiplayer has been in a free trial period. But that’s about to change with the launch of Nintendo Switch Online. A subscription costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for 3 months, or $19.99 for the year, making it far cheaper than Sony’s and Microsoft’s equivalent online subscription services.
A Family Membership for up to eight accounts is also available for $34.99 per year.
Subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online are provided the following five features:
Online gameplay. The most obvious reason to subscribe is the ability to play games online. Many of Nintendo’s marquee games are built with multiplayer in mind, including Splatoon, Mario Kart, and the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
NES games on Switch. Subscribers get access to a library of classic NES games they can play on the Switch. At launch there will be 20 games available, including Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and The Legend of Zleda, with more added regularly. Online play will also be available for multiplayer games.
Cloud Saves. Switch users have been clamoring for a way to backup save data to the cloud. Unfortunately you’ll have to be a subscriber to access this feature.
Smartphone App. The app, like online play, has been free up to this point. When the Nintendo Switch Online service launches, you’ll need to be a subscriber to access its voice chat features.
Special Offers. The two examples at launch are NES-style Switch controllers (available to purchase only for subscribers), and download codes for exclusive gear for Splatoon 2 (only for 12-month members).
Nintendo Switch Online launches September 18.