Nintendo is breaking the tradition of free online play, it seems. According to the Nintendo Switch live stream, the console will have paid online service. Fortunately, the service will be free-trial until the fall of 2017. We know very little about the Switch online paid service, as more details will come at a later date.
Tatsumi Kimishima, president of Nintendo, told us that a paid online subscription system will be part of the Switch experience. This is fairly strange news, considering that Nintendo’s model so far was to keep online play free. I guess that’s in the past now, and they’re moving towards Sony and Microsoft territory. Switch players will be able to try the service for free until fall 2017. Kimishima believes that this service will be an improvement from their previous models.
Here’s what Kimishima said about the Switch paid online service.
“With Nintendo Switch, you will of course be able to enjoy online multiplayer gaming. And when you use a smart device application that will connect to Nintendo Switch, you will be able to invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with friends while enjoying online matches in compatible games, all from your smart device.
Users will be able to try out Nintendo Switch online services for free during a trial period after launch. Then it will become a paid service beginning in the fall of 2017. We will provide additional details on this paid service and its features on our home page at a later date.”
The Nintendo Switch Online Service website does give us some more details already. During the free trial period, players will have access to playing co-op and competitive games online. Come fall, you’ll have to pay for the subscription to keep this feature.
Non-subscribers will have access to the Nintendo eShop, registering and managing friends and sharing their game screenshots on social media. Additionally, the Switch will feature a Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app.
Once the paid subscription system is up, people who pay for the subscription will get to keep the online play feature. On top of that, they’ll get access to the Online Lobby & Voice Chat app. Using this, they’ll be able to “make play appointments and chat with friends during online matches” via their smart devices. A free but limited version of this will come out this summer. Subscribers will, of course, get special offers and exclusive deals, including discounts on digital games and other content.
The final big thing is the Monthly Game download. Once a month, subscribers will get to download and play a classic NES or SNES title for free. It’s still kinda unclear whether they’ll get to the keep the game, or if it will go away after the month is over
We’ll keep updating you with more details as they come. What do you think of the Switch paid online service? Share your thoughts in the comments!