Nintendo Switch Online Service Arriving September 2018

After much delay, Nintendo is rolling out its online service later this year.

News by Matt Kim, .

Nintendo announced through Twitter that Nintendo Switch Online will launch on September 2018.

Nintendo first announced that the company would be introducing an online service back along with the Switch announcement. However, the online service ended up being pushed back from its 2017 release window into 2018. Now after much delay, we will finally see Nintendo's online service this September.

Nintendo Switch Online will feature services like online lobbies and voice chat, along with a "classic game selection," and Nintendo eShop deals. The classic games are reported to be a monthly free game subscription style service where online users will have access to an ongoing library of classic game each month. So far only NES games are part of the classic games selection.

The online service subscription will be rolled into the Nintendo mobile app, which so far only supports a limited number of games like Splatoon 2. No word yet on any updates for the app.

Nintendo's online service is currently priced at $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for three months, and $19.99 a year. Far cheaper than any other online service for other platforms.

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  • Avatar for riderkicker #1 riderkicker 9 months ago
    Considering Nintendo is a company that makes the oddest risks, and the most cautious steps forward, I tread lightly with the news. They're delaying Virtual Console until September because they want to integrate it with their premium online service? :/

    I'm interested in hearing from families who bought the Switch but have never paid for an online multiplayer gaming service, even though this segment of the market may overlap with "casual" mobile gamers who spend plenty on microtransactions. As the months continue, it would be something to see how Nintendo plans on getting these people aboard, especially when the company is already trying another approach on getting people excited about the Switch with the continued manufacturing the NES and SNES Classics.Edited February 2018 by riderkicker
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #2 donkeyintheforest 9 months ago
    @riderkicker I think it might be a shock to some people, but when they see that both sony and microsoft do it too, for three times the price, they'll probably accept it pretty easily. I'm more worried about having to deal with an app. I opened it once for splatoon 2 and never since.
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  • Avatar for docexe #3 docexe 9 months ago
    This is the one thing that gives me trepidation about the future of the Switch. If the online infrastructure and features don't improve by the time the paid service rolls around, I can picture it even damaging the sales of the console.

    It's inevitably going to be clunky given that they seem dead set on keeping the damned app, but hopefully it will be more functional than it currently is.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #4 Ralek 9 months ago
    @docexe I was about to comment about exactly the same thing. I totally agree on everything you mentioned.

    The only thing I would add, is that this feels already like a strike against the systems momentum. I mean, September is still ways off, and this announcement will probably translate into at the very least anther 6 months, where we will hear nothing on how their service works, what features it will include, how or if the system itself will be updated to accomondate those features, whether we'll still have to deal with that damn app, what the VC console will look like and if there will even be one outside some NES games we might get ...

    that's a fair bit of uncertainty that they feel comfortable in artificially creating, which to mean sounds like they are about to get back to that cocky old Wii-self of theirs, which would not good news for anyone. I also don't like the talk about how Labo will just be the beginning of acessories added to the Switch. Again, this sounds like they might be on course to get themselves sidetracked one more by more or less silly gadgets whose existence then must be justified by vasting precious development ressources on pointless projects.

    I hope I'm wrong though, I really do. The Switch has so much potential, it's hard to see how even height-of-Wii-hype-cocky-Nintendo could squander it. It's not impossible though, Nintendo has great capabilities here in both directions - unfortunately.
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  • Avatar for AceOfCakez #5 AceOfCakez 9 months ago
    Hm, I wonder what else will be on there once it rolls out.
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  • Avatar for nilcam #6 nilcam 9 months ago
    I'm not really sure what people want from the online. My requirements are rather minimal - I want to be able to invite friends to play online. That's really about it. I'm fine with voice chat on the app; after dealing with the mess Sony's chat is, the app will likely be an improvement. I've been on an Xbox chat once and, I can safely say, never again. I generally play fighting games online so chat is not necessary unless I'm playing/coaching a friend.

    Considering the amount of hateful messages I've received for simply winning against other players, I don't feel the need to send or receive messages from other players. Also, bear in mind, I'm old.

    That said, $20/year for online play and a few classic titles thrown in sounds like a deal to me.
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  • Avatar for docexe #7 docexe 9 months ago
    @Ralek I don't necessarily think the long delay is them getting cocky. The service was originally announced for 2017, I have to assume that if they are postponing it to September of this year is because it's not ready yet. Part of the issue here is that Nintendo never had bothered to build an online infrastructure of this type before, so doing that now might have proven difficult for them.

    Of course, I do agree with you that they need to be more transparent about the whole thing. I really hope they give more information about how the service will work sooner rather than later.
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #8 SIGGYZtar 9 months ago
    Whatever it is, it's gonna pale in comparison with the big two.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #9 Ralek 9 months ago
    @docexe Fair enough, but what I meant was just that ... well, what could be the reason for such a delay on such an important project? Nintendo is not exactly breaking new ground here, maybe if they were on their own, but I figured that why they brought DeNA in. All in all, the industry now has some 15+ years of experience with building an online infrastucture. It's not rocket science after all. Plus, Nintendo should have all the ressources they possibly need to pull this off. On top of that, I'd say that launching the whole thing in late'ish 2017, 6+ months after their new system was already somewhat ... uhm unamibitious. I guess that we all agree that the system - for the most part - should have been in place day 1 basically.

    In short, if it's not due to them feeling comfortable with pushing this back, due to it not being THE top priority right now, I'm not sure what it could be. But if this is how it is, then I'd say that qualifies as some version of Nintendo being cocky. I guess, there could be another explanation, maybe they simply COULD not do it in a more timely fashion, but frankly, that is quite the harrowing thought. Maybe they are just trying to reinvent the wheel, but stuff like cloud saves, to name just one singular aspect, does not really need reinventing. We'll see, after all none of us are probably eager to pay for another subscription anyways, am I right? ^^
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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 9 months ago
    @Ralek Well, it might not be rocket science, but it’s not exactly easy either. Even Microsoft and Sony took a while before they could implement all the online features they already had on the X360 and PS3 on the XBOne and PS4, when the later two launched.

    I also can’t help it but assume it will just be more difficult for Nintendo to build an online infrastructure of this type, even taking into account their partnership with DeNA. It’s in part their relative lack of experience with it compared to the other console manufacturers, in part just how reticent they have been to offering online services in general. That kind of organizational resistance can massively complicate things in any project that aims to modernize core aspects of a company. Granted, some of the delay might also have to do with, as you say, “they wanting to reinvent the wheel” and needlessly overcomplicating things.

    In the end though, we ultimately don’t know with certainty what might be happening internally at Nintendo for them to delay the Switch Online service. We can only hope for the best right now, while bracing ourselves for the worst.
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