Ever since the Nintendo Switch was first revealed, one question has dogged the console: what will the online presence look like? Tonight, Nintendo finally started to solve that mystery. Nintendo Switch Online will be the paid online service that will be required to play various Switch games over the internet with other players, but not without some benefits.
In addition to continue being able to play titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2, the service will be needed to play modes in future titles like Mario Tennis Aces. Notably, Super Smash Bros is not listed, but it seems unlikely that Nintendo’s most anticipated title won’t be tied to this service.
On top of that, 20 NES games will be available (including Online Play of their own), with promises of more to be added “regularly.” Currently revealed titles are:
- Mario Bros
- Ice Climber
- Super Mario Bros.
- Dr. Mario
- Balloon Fight
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros. 3
That isn’t all that your money gets you, Nintendo Switch Online will also finally provide cloud save options to players for easy access and backup. The full details and inevitable restrictions are still to come down the line.
Now of course, this a paid service, so cost is going to be everything. The pricing breaks down into different time frames, but are simple enough to get. A single month will only cost $3.99, with three months setting you back $7.99, and a full year for $19.99. Most notably, however, is the Family Membership; where one Nintendo Account user can add other users to a “family group,” giving all of those users access for a single yearly charge of $34.99…and yes, this works across multiple systems.
Because the service is still set for a launch in September, my opinion is still torn on the service as a whole. There’s an industry precedent for keeping cloud saving behind a paywall (such as Sony’s Playstation Plus service), but it still feels crummy given the Switch portability can lead to accidents, and I have little interest in playing Balloon Fight ever again. On the other hand, if Nintendo can deliver a reliable online play experience at this lower price, it might be all that matters.
Are you looking forward to having to shell out some cash to play Mario Kart online? Let us know what you think!