Nintendo’s newest console the Nintendo Switch is less than a month away, and consumers are finding out new information as it gets closer. The latest news in the announcement line up? No more free online play. Sorry Nintendo fans, but the time has come for Nintendo to step backwards while simultaneously moving forward. Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima, revealed what players can expect for pricing in Japan, for the online service. It will cost them between ¥2-3,000 annually. Converted into US dollars, that’s between $17.50 and $26.50 per year.
Kimishima said that Nintendo feels a yearly fee would make it “easier for Nintendo to support online features” such as multiplayer and downloads. Obviously, they’re looking to take a serious step forward with DLC, and online gameplay for games such as Call of Duty, and quite possibly Elder Scrolls Skyrim Online, or Mario Kart 9(possible title).
Nintendo hasn’t clarified how much the service will cost in the US yet, but if the yen figure is a benchmarker, it will be less than a yearly PlayStation Plus sub ($49.99) which is needed for online play for some titles on PS4, or an Xbox Live Gold membership ($59.99). The trade off is that Sony and Microsoft offer plenty of games per month to make it worth while to consumers who play online with their service.
Nintendo’s online service for Nintendo Switch will offer something similar. Each month, a game download for a NES or SNES game will be free for one month. It’s not clear if it will remain free or disappear as PlayStation Plus has done in recent times.
Other features included with Nintendo’s service, include online lobbies and voice chat through the dedicated Switch app on your smartphone or tablet.
Exclusive discounts and offers, and other features to be detailed at a later date. Most of the formerly mentioned features will be slated for some time after the console launches, with no date as of yet.
Nintendo will be offering an extended trial period for its Nintendo Switch Online Service. It will initially be free and customers won’t have to start paying for it until sometime in northern autumn 2017.
The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017.