Nintendo have released more information about Nintendo Switch Online, the company’s forthcoming subscription service, the Switch equivalent of PS+ and Xbox Live Gold. The Switch has seen Nintendo draw parallels with Sony and Microsoft in a number of ways, such as the season pass for Breath Of The Wild.
Most significantly though, are their plans for an online subscription service that is designed to mirror Sony‘s Playstation Plus and Microsoft‘s Xbox Live Gold. Until now only vague details have been released, but Nintendo have now confirmed a little more about their plans.
First the good news: it’s CHEAP. Actually for the first year, it’s free – Nintendo Switch Online will launch later this year but the company won’t start charging until 2018, giving all Switch owners an extended trial-period. And once you do have to pay, compared to the $59.99 that Sony and Microsoft charge annually for their subscription services, Nintendo will be asking a mere $19.99. You won’t be able to play games like Mario Kart 8 online without it, but for that price it’s hard to grumble.
Like its rivals, Nintendo Switch Online will offer a selection of free games – the caveat being that they’ll be retro games (NES and SNES titles were previously mooted) and how long subscribers have access to them remains unclear. When the service was first pitched, it was suggested that a different title would be offered each month and would then have to be purchased in order to continue playing it. Certainly, Nintendo will want to ensure that the Virtual Console continues to generate profit.
Voice chat will be included through Nintendo‘s smartphone app – although whether that’s going to be worth the hassle is yet to be seen.
The presence of cloud saves is yet to be confirmed, although this is something Nintendo has always seemed reluctant to pursue with transferring save data or purchased downloads between consoles nigh on impossible.
At first glance though, Nintendo has lifted the best aspects of PS+ and Xbox Live Gold whilst offering their service at a much more appealing price. However, Sony and Microsoft have a lot more experience in this area and it’s hard to imagine that Nintendo Switch Online (as it’s currently known) won’t have some sort of typically Nintendo teething problem when it launches.