Nintendo online service for Switch is really, really cheap

2 min read

Nintendo Switch online service price revealed

One of the more expected announcements at January’s Switch event was Nintendo’s eventual adoption of a paid online multiplayer service. Microsoft and Sony have Xbox Live Gold and PS Plus respectively, and each are required for online play on their current consoles. The same goes for the Switch, but with the many caveats the service has compared to rivals Nintendo really had an uphill battle ahead of them. A battle that’s somewhat easier thanks to price.

According to Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, the Switch’s online service will cost between 2000-3000 Yen per year, which right now translates to anything between $17.63 and $26.44. Nikkei conducted the interview with the Nintendo President, where he stressed once again how the company is fully committing to customers with the service on their new home console.

Previous Nintendo consoles, the Wii and Wii U, didn’t require a subscription to play online. The Switch will be the first in the company’s history to do this, but also align with some of the industry standards that have been set by Sony and Microsoft, with some catches. Much like PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold, Nintendo will give subscribers a free NES or SNES game per month to play. The game, however, will only be available to play for that month, with Nintendo not allowing you to own it anytime after without a purchase.

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Nintendo is also planning to relegate much of the Switch’s online functionality away from the console. This means connecting to lobbies, enacting voice chat and dealing with online service will be done via a smartphone app instead of on the console itself, which has many scratching their heads. Nintendo doesn’t plan to have the service fully up and running until later this year, so they’ll be offering the service for free until then.

Right now it’s a sorely lacking service in comparison to what we’ve come to expect from both Sony and Microsoft. But if Nintendo recognise that by reducing the price by nearly half, that makes it a slightly easier pill to swallow.

Last Updated: February 2, 2017

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Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • HvR

    Should be free for basic online use.

    I wouldn’t call R350+ for basic online service cheap.

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      Well then the double you pay for PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold fall under than same umbrella

      • Admiral Chief

        …yet you get to KEEEEEEEEEP the games

        • Hammersteyn
        • Hammersteyn

          And they give you a SNES or NES game to play. Basically it’s a ROM. You could download both libraries in a couple of minutes if one was so inclined and play them without needing to pay a subscription or a one month time limit

          • Marc O Polo

            And you don’t have to buy a Switch

      • HvR

        Yes that is BS as well; having to pay extra to have access to the online interface of a device of which 75% of the features are online.

        At least Sony and M$ give the illusion of a complementary reach around with a half decent quarter of the time free game offering.

        As the tech world has a history of comparing itself to the motor industry; this is like paying a motor manufacturer a monthly fee so that your gearbox work.

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Online PC gaming is (usually) really really cheap too.

    I say usually because you get the likes of WoW that has a subscription, but games with monthly subs are 1 in a couple THOUSAND games… not all games on the entire platform.

  • Original Heretic

    Too bad the console is really, really expensive.

    • Only here it is. Bring it in from amazon with breath of the wild as a whole is 1k or so cheaper.

      • PurplePariah

        Excluding customs. Customs can be a real dick sometimes.

        • Admiral Chief

          They should play some Conan Exiles

          • PurplePariah

            Or worse – Ark.

          • Admiral Chief

            The HORROR

      • Marc O Polo

        Until you get nailed for import tax…

        • Amazon purchases include importing fees usually

  • Admiral Chief

    It should be Steam-online priced

  • HvR

    Somebody call the Wiibulance because the Switch it going up the U

  • Hammersteyn

    “The game, however, will only be available to play for that month”

    • Admiral Chief


      What madness is this???????????

      • Hammersteyn

        You get to keep the games you download on PS and XBOX. Oh but not with Nintendo

        • Admiral Chief

          I think Ninty bought Vaseline shares, and want to double cash-in

          • They could at least make us pay for dinner first.

          • Admiral Chief


          • Hammersteyn

            But in this case after you’ve eaten they attack you with a stomach pump

          • Admiral Chief


          • Admiral Chief

            Stomach pump……but not from the mouth…

          • Covered in… Vaseline…. and it isnt a stomach pump…

    • There it is again!!!!! I’m DEAD XDDDDD

      • Hammersteyn

        Troy was on two nights ago. I sat with bated breath waiting for that scene XD

        • I also watched it a little while ago, same same lol!

  • konfab

    So PS4 owners get PS4 games whilst Switch owners get games that are over 20 years old…

    If Nintendo were clever they would offer their whole library of NES and SNES games to subscribers.

    • Admiral Chief

      Clever, indeed. Perhaps with a limit per month, like 5, that way they will ensure the guys stay subbed, or something

      • HvR

        Or whole library and just make that the games will only play if the sub is still active (monthly subscriber checkin) like PS+ for the monthly games.

  • Magoo

    I don’t understand the Switch. Remember the noise that people made over the original xBone design and functionality? Has everyone just given up and come to expect a sub-par experience for high premiums?

    • Magoo

      I hear a lot less “which is great” than I hear “which isn’t bad” nowadays

      • PurplePariah

        Bare in mind, Sandy has been rather negative about the Switch since day 1, so this reaction is about as good as you’ll get on the topic. XD

        • Alessandro Barbosa

          “Sandy has been rather negative about the Switch since day 1” Not true. Original reveal had me super stoked. The Jan presser got me down real bad 🙁

          Still have it ordered though.

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    “paid online multiplayer service”


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