PSA: Nintendo Switch Online Service Detailed

You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.

Nintendo has finally given us some more concrete details on the Switch’s online service, check them out below:


  • We finally know the all important price of the service. One month for $3.99, three months for $7.99, and one whole year for just $19.99 (all USD of course). That’s downright affordable and should make this service attractive to just about anyone, so long as there are enough games to play on it. Well done Nintendo.
  • The full rollout of the service will now be 2018, meaning the service will remain free beyond the original fall 2017 deadline. This means that even those who receive the system during the holidays will have a chance to try before they buy and should be a good barometer for the kind of stability we can expect from the service. Again, well done Nintendo.
  • A free limited version of their app will release this summer. Yeah, one big caveat here is that features such as voice chat and game invites will all be managed from an app on your smart device of choice…oh but not the Switch. You were doing so well Nintendo. This would be easier to swallow if Nintendo gave us a solid reason as to why this can’t be done on the console itself (like literally every other console and all Nintendo consoles dating back to the DS) but hopefully there will be enough of that Nintendo charm in the app to make it more tolerable. Or, you know, it could be awful.
  • The “Classic Game Selection,” the old school games getting online support and the like that will be offered for free, got some much-needed clarification. According to an article on Kotaku, Nintendo made clear that subscribers will have ongoing access to these games, not the previously assumed month to month selection. Little detail was provided beyond that, but it’s good to see that Nintendo is making the right move here with regards to access to these games, keeping them in line with the major competitors.
  • Subscribers will get exclusive eShop deals, again keeping the service in line with the likes of PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. Depending on the types of discounts, the service could pay for itself even faster than the latter two services.
  • Nintendo also reiterates that this service will only impact the Switch, so you Wii U holdouts don’t need to worry about having to pay to play online.

Nintendo apparently has plans to provide more updates as we get closer to the service’s launch. While the clarity here is appreciated, we won’t really know if the service is worth it until we get our hands on it (figuratively speaking) and see if it is worth the price of entry.  Unrelated to this announcement, but I’m sure very important to Switch owners, no further news was provided about features like virtual console or how (and if) Nintendo will manage purchases on previous platforms with their new account system.

Make sure to check back for more when the service does go live, you can bet Ross and I will put it through its paces. Summer is just around the corner after all.