Nintendo has announced that their paid online services, originally planned for launch later this year, have been delayed for release in 2018. With this news comes a host of new details for Nintendo Switch Online, including price, features, and future functionality.
As a result of this delay, the free trial period for playing games online has been extended until at least the end of 2017. After gamers enjoy online titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 for free this year, they will have to use their Nintendo accounts and the Nintendo Switch Online service to play with friends in compatible games.
Some of those games will include classic titles with new online functionality. As of now, the "Classic Game Selection" service (name not final) has been announced by Nintendo as means to play games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario with this added functionality. Super NES games are also reportedly under consideration to be added into the Classic Game Selection. While Nintendo originally stated that such games might be only available for a single month, they have now told Kotaku that players will have access to each title so long as they remain subscribed to the Online service.
"Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription." — Nintendo
As previously announced, Nintendo Switch Online will also come with a dedicated smart phone application, allowing players to connect with friends, set appointments to play games, and chat during online play. To test the waters, Nintendo will be releasing a free, limited version of the app this summer.
Subscribers to the online service will also receive exclusive deals for the Nintendo eShop. Those who do not subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online will still be able to access the eShop, however, as well as manage their friend list, share screenshots to social media, and use the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app.
Nintendo Switch Online releases in 2018 and will cost $3.99 for a 1-month membership, $7.99 for a 3-month membership, or $19.99 for a 12-month membership. To recap, the main benefits of being subscribed will include the online gameplay currently free to all Switch owners, the upcoming voice chat app, and the Classic Game Selection. Nintendo plans on announcing more details for Nintendo Switch Online by the end of the year.
What are your thoughts on Nintendo's plans for their first paid online service? Does this seem like a fair price to you? And are you surprised it has been delayed until next year? Let us know in the comments below!