Since its launch last March, fans of the Nintendo Switch have wondered about missing online features. As mxdwn Games has reported, the Virtual Console made popular on the previous Wii, Wii U, and 3DS systems will not appear on Switch. The general outcry has been heavily mixed towards Nintendo’s re-branding of how they’ll let users play classic games in their ecosystem.
2010 – Virtual Console is the worst, just let me pay a monthly fee for a library of old games. If they just did that we would subscribe!
2018 – Nintendo Switch Online Service’s monthly fee for a library of games is the worst and we want Virtual Console back. We loved it!
— Chris Johnston (@superpac) May 8, 2018
This week Nintendo updated their info site for the upcoming online service, stating:
Nintendo Switch Online is a paid service that gives members access to online play in compatible games, a selection of NES™ games, extra features for the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, and more.
Up until now, online play for games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe were free and fairly competent. The hope in any paid service is that the company will use funds for improved networking to make online connections even more stable.
In the same vein of the company using subscription fees for better online features, a plan has been put into place for backing up save data that fans have been asking for since launch year. Clarifying that more info will be provided later, Nintendo confirmed that you will be able to save your data to their cloud service once the online subscription initiates. This in itself has caused a bit of backlash from the community:
Nintendo just announced a paywall for #NintendoSwitch save data as its ONLY backup option & that’s not right! Help us raise awareness so we can #SAVETHESAVES for all players, not just those who play online. Find out more here & retweet to spread the word!https://t.co/vFRMzgZI1e pic.twitter.com/SdIBdf57tw
— Redhead On Moped (@HUELEN10) May 8, 2018
In terms of pricing for the upcoming online service, Nintendo broke it down in a graphic:
Following the 1-, 3- and 12-month formats of the already-established online gaming services Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus, Nintendo is currently set to be the lowest-priced service in the console market. Compared to popular streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, Nintendo also has the lowest price point. What’s yet to be determined though is whether or not Nintendo’s subscription-based roll-out of classic games will be worth any price point to fans with high expectations.
As of writing, the games included with the service are all NES titles that you will be able to play competitively against or happily with other online players:
The service will launch with 20 games, with new games added regularly. Launch titles include:
- Donkey Kong™
- Mario Bros.™
- Super Mario Bros.™
- Balloon Fight™
- Ice Climber™
- Dr. Mario™
- The Legend of Zelda™
- Super Mario Bros.™ 3
And more to be revealed!
The “more to be revealed” bit leaves the door wide open for what lies ahead and eager fans are already speculating:
Baseless prediction: Nintendo is including the “Nintendo Switch Online: NES” library with its base $6 per month subscription, but will later unveil SNES, N64, GameCube libraries at an additional monthly or yearly cost. https://t.co/ytuYlwvRGC
— Tim Biggs ⚡ (@TimBiggs) May 9, 2018
One can hope that additional fees won’t be introduced, but Nintendo wouldn’t be the first to implement such a marketing practice. We’ll have to wait and see once the Nintendo Switch Online service launches this September.