If you own a Nintendo Switch, chances are good that you're taking advantage of its online services. For now, playing with others online is free, but Nintendo plans to charge users for it soon. Last night, it revealed more details about pricing as well as some of the features that come with a paid subscription.
Nintendo still didn't specify a date for the start of its paid service, but we do know that it will launch sometime in 2018. Initially, the plan was to start the service this fall, but it was pushed back for reasons unknown. When it becomes available, you'll have three payment options: You can pay $4 for a one-month membership, $8 for three months, or $20 for a full year.
As a subscriber, you’ll benefit in other ways than just the ability to play online. For instance, you'll have access to a new app on your smartphone, which will be available this summer, that will let you invite friends to play, enable voice chat, and set appointments to play at specific time. You'll also get deals on purchases in the Nintendo eShop, but the company didn't provide specifics on the discount percentage. Finally, you’ll also get to download some classic titles in the new “Classic Game Selection,” although Nintendo said that name is subject to change before the service starts. It’s not clear as to how many games will be available to download from this list, but Nintendo revealed three titles as part of the collection: Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Balloon Fight.
If you choose not to pay the subscription, you’ll still have access to Nintendo’s eShop, as well as the ability to add new friends, manage your friend list, share screenshots, and access to the Parental Controls app on the Switch.
It’s unclear as to whether or not the Classic Game Selection will replace the long-standing Virtual Console entirely or just in name only, but at least we now know what to expect in terms of pricing for continued online play. The push to 2018 could mean a number of things, from internal issues with the rollout to the fact that the Switch is still a rare commodity in the market. Either way, it gives more people a chance to try more games that support online play on the device.