Nintendo’s Upcoming Network Plan
If you own a Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you’ve been appreciating the free online multiplayer. Well, a countdown to the end has begun. Nintendo will release its premium online service: Nintendo Switch Online by 2018. Similar to Playstation Network and Xbox Live, this will be a paid monthly service.
Enjoy online services for free until the paid service’s official launch in 2018.
An Online lobby and voice chat through a dedicated phone app. You can invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with your friends. The phone app will be released during summer 2017 for free in a limited form.
You will also gain access to “Classic Game Selections” that will include online play for certain games. Whether these last as long as you have the subscription or you have to pay for them, remains to be seen. You’ll also have more deals for eShop. This will not be replacing the Virtual Console.
In the end, it is cheaper than PSN and Xbox Live currently but the Switch still has limitations. There is no Netflix or common apps that most modern consoles have and only a few games for the Switch warrant the online service. Whether or not Splatoon 2 or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe holds your attention online will dictate how valuable the service will be. While popular online franchises like Call of Duty or Battlefield may release on the Switch in the near future, Nintendo doesn’t have the back catalogue for most gamers to invest in the service. We’ll see how popular the Nintendo Online Service will be. I think it’ll do well depending on the “Classic Game Selection,” especially if they offer the games fans have been asking for. This includes the Super Nintendo, N64, and GameCube titles.