Today, Nintendo finally announced the details of their online service after months of keeping fans completely in the dark regarding such an important component. It's going to cost you a little bit less than what was originally speculated - less than half the price of the competition. And for that price, you're going to get something a tad unusual. Or shall we call it, a very Nintendo type of service?
Starting next year, Nintendo Switch owners will have to start paying $20 a year a year if they'd like to start taking advantage of the online features of their console. That includes online multiplayer, voice chat, and access to the classic Nintendo titles that have been modded to add online functionality. You can also elect to pay $4 a month or $8 for 3 months instead. Think of the savings!
The key point to be made is that this will start in 2018. It seems like Nintendo just needs a little bit longer to prepare and implement all of these features. They have mentioned the voice chat feature will come in the form of a smartphone app which will be available sometime this summer. That should also include the online matchmaking service they originally said would also be regulated to a phone app.
However, the other services including eShop discounts for being a subscription member and the classic Nintendo titles won't be available until much later. We don't know what exactly the new Virtual Console service will include, but at the very least, they do mention Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario will be included.
As we talked about before, this is a truly unique way of implementing a paid subscription model in an arena Sony and Microsoft have held a duopoly in going for over a decade. Nintendo clearly has their work cut out for them if they expect to be competitive, but for now, they're making the right call on making it affordable. That just means more money to spend on their future software library.
Update: Nintendo has confirmed to Kotaku they have ditched the idea of having monthly classic titles that felt more like rentals, and instead gone with a far more appealing decision of letting you just have full access to select titles so long as you're a member:
On a later update, they also said this Netflix-like subscription service will only extend to NES games. SNES games are being considered, but they have nothing to announce regarding that at this time.
So what do you guys think? Is it something you're interested in trying out, or will you stick to the basic service?