E3 seems to start earlier every year, and Nintendo is joining in the fun. Late last night they announced some more detail around their Nintendo Switch Online service. The service will be free until 2018, but thereafter will cost just $3.99 a month, $7.99 for a 3 month membership, or $19.99 for a 12 month subscription. (the service won’t affect 3DS or Wii U’s services) What do you get for all that? Let’s take a look!
Their “Classic Game Selection” represents a pivot from the original announcement, which was a different game every month. Now, you’ll download a “compilation of classic titles with added online play, such as Super Mario Bros 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario”. If I know Nintendo, this will be one of their “And you can play it….right….now” E3 moments. While NES titles are currently announced, Nintendo promises that they are looking into their SNES library for possible inclusion.
In this announcement they also gave us a bit more detail into their online lobby and voice chat. Rather than using a connection to your Switch (largely impractical, given the distance most people sit away from it in docked mode), Nintendo will have you use your mobile phone or other smart device to invite your friends, set up game time, and chat via a “free, limited version” of this app available for download this summer. Whether that means we’ll have a non-free version later is yet to be seen.
Undoubtedly, Splatoon 2 will be the proving ground for the multiplayer-enabling online service. Nintendo has had a rocky relationship with the online space, so here’s to hoping that E3 shows us that they’ve finally nailed it down.