After having a delayed launch, Nintendo finally launched their online services for Switch. The new online services bring a couple intriguing features that were not available to us before, and add a paywall to those we’ve been experiencing since launch in the “preview” phase.
The biggest benefit, of course, is online play. Games like “Mario Kart 8” and the upcoming “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” require a subscription to play online. Free-to-play games, like the ever-popular “Fortnite,” do not.
Users also now have access to cloud saving, meaning you can upload your game saves to the cloud. Now users can always have their saves on them, even if you break your Nintendo Switch. The bad news is that unsubscribing results in inaccessibility of those saves for 180 days. This is a contrast to the competition. Sony allows six months after a lapsed subscription to their Playstation online service, and Microsoft does not require a subscription at all to use the feature on Xbox.
The most intriguing feature for many will be the classic game library. Launching with twenty NES games, this will be available anywhere, any time as long as you have a subscription. It launched with 20 iconic titles, including “Super Mario Bros.” and “The Legend of Zelda,” and will continue to be updated with more games Netflix-style.
It will be exciting to see what games are added in the future, with a clip on three games per month planned. Many of these games are multiplayer, so they can be played with roommates. There is also an online option which enables gamers to play with friends who live across campus or commute.
Additional benefits include subscribers having the opportunity to buy special loot from Nintendo like the new wireless NES controllers. Nintendo also has access to the new smartphone app which enables voice chats with friends during the game.
These online services have select pricing plans starting at $3.99 a month for one account and up to $19.99 for the entire year. Nintendo also offers a family membership which can be used on eight Nintendo accounts for $34.99 for the entire year. While the benefits truly are rather slim, at a fraction of the cost of Nintendo’s competition for online services, it’s hard not to recommend.