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Nintendo’s Switch online services to include classic games library, cost $20 a year

2 min read


When I first heard that Nintendo’s Switch was going to have a paid online service akin to Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, my eyes rolled so hard that they nearly exited the back of my skull and shot out into orbit.

Nintendo’s online presence has never been particularly strong, so the suggestion that they’d charge for it was galling. What made it seem worse was that they were going to include free games to play, emulating Microsoft and Sony’s services – but the classic games that would be available would be available for a month only, before being yanked from your library. That all seems to have changed.

Nintendo’s detailed its online Switch service, which will now only launch in 2018. For starters, it’ll be cheap – coming in at a third pf the price of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network access. Nintendo has said it’ll cost just $20 a year for its inline functionality. You’ll also be able to get a one-month subscription for $4 and a three-month subscription for $8.

The single game playable for a month seems to have gone away too, and now seems to be a little like a Netflix of classic games. Subscribers will get free versions of classic games with added online features. The games they’ve namechecked so far include my beloved Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. It seems there’s going to be quite a bit more.

Nintendo confirmed the change to Kotaku:

“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”

A Netflix of NES games? Count me in. Of course, the system’s online voice chat is still unbearably stupid, requiring a smartphone running an app. Trying to get game and chat audio on one headset requires a tangle of cables and external devices.

Last Updated: June 2, 2017

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