After months of teasingly mentioning that more news would be coming, Nintendo finally revealed some details about the online service for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Online will launch sometime in 2018, and will cost $20 a year. You can also buy subscriptions on a monthly ($4) or three-month ($8) basis. The service will still use a smartphone app that connects to the Switch, required for voice chat and online lobby features.
“Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device,” the company says. “A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.”
In addition to the online features, Nintendo announced that subscribers will get some free classic games. They specifically mentioned Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario, adding that the games will include additional online features. Going against their previous announcement, it sounds like the Switch Online service will act somewhat as a Netflix for retro games. For now, only the NES library is being considered, which is a shame.
“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play,” Nintendo told Kotaku. “Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”
“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”
Oddly, Nintendo’s announcement didn’t include anything about a potential Virtual Console for the Switch. The Virtual Console was an online store that allowed owners of the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U to buy classic games on those devices