By Eric M. Wilusz.
Yesterday Nintendo announced more details for their upcoming online service for the Nintendo Switch. Launching in 2018, the service will be required for gamers to play online multiplayer games with the Switch. No exact date had been given, but online play will remain free for Switch owners until it is officially launched. The service will not be required for 3DS and Wii U users.
The program has various pricing options, starting from $3.99 for a 1-month membership to $19.99 for a full year. It has been hinted that games will have an initial free trial period included with the service, but details are unclear.
Besides allowing access to online play, the service will come with additional features. Like other online platforms, subscribers will receive exclusive discounts on digital games and content on the Nintendo eShop. Subscribers will also have access to Nintendo’s Classic Game Selection, an online library consisting of classic games that have been updated to include online play. Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario are just some of the games that will be available to download.
It should be noted that the friends lobby and voice chat aren’t accessible on the Switch itself, instead requiring an app download on a smart device. The reasoning for this decision hasn’t been released. The app itself will let you invite friends to games, set appointments, and chat with friends during online matches. A free, limited version will be available to test this summer.
All things considering the price for Nintendo’s online service is relatively cheap compared to other companies. Both PSN and Xbox Live cost $60 a year, triple the price of Nintendo’s program.
I will post more information as details continue to be released.
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