Whats Left to Learn About Nintendo Switch Online

first_imgStay on target Over a year and a half into its lifespan, the Nintendo Switch has established itself pretty nicely. If you pick one up today, you aren’t an early adopter testing out the waters but an informed consumer buying into a proven ecosystem. The back library is quite substantial with hits like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and the recent Octopath Traveler. And it’ll only get more fleshed out this holiday with Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.However, there’s still one major part of the Nintendo Switch that’s currently making it feel more like an unfinished prototype than a wildly successful modern game console: the online system. The Switch will feature the first paid Nintendo online system, and after being delayed from a nebulous late 2017 launch, Nintendo is now insisting the service will launch this September. We assumed we’d get more details during the 9/6 Nintendo Direct, but that video was understandably pushed back due a tragic earthquake in Japan. So we’re still somewhat in the dark as to what Nintendo Switch Online even is, even though it launches in just a few weeks!Here’s what we do know. When Nintendo Switch Online goes live, users will need to subscribe in order to keep playing most online multiplayer Nintendo Switch games, including favorites like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Tennis Aces. Prices range from $4 for a single month to a $35 yearly family plan split amongst eight users. It’s pretty generous, but the common assumption is that because of Nintendo’s spotty history with online services, the cheaper price compared to Xbox and PlayStation will also reflect a more modest set of features. After all, users will still be forced to use that dumb mobile app for voice chat, unless they’re playing Fortnite.Beyond online play, subscribers will gain access to quality of life features like cloud save back ups (as there is currently no way to backup Switch game save files) and discounts on eShop purchases. Most exciting, but perplexing, to Nintendo fans though is the library of classic games. Although old games thrive on Switch, there’s no actual Virtual Console service letting you buy past Nintendo hits. Instead, Switch Online subscribers can play a selection of NES games like Dr. Mario and Balloon Fight with added online co-op.And that’s really it for what we know. Although Nintendo continues to remind us of the existence of this service, they’ve yet to provide more firm details. Everything else is just fan speculation. Will they finally ditch the mobile app for actual headsets? Will the servers be more stable now that we actually have to pay for them? Will this truly be the Netflix for classic games subscription service we’ve always dreamed of? Will Nintendo add more NES games along with SNES, N64, Game Boy, and even Gamecube titles?These are all questions worth answering, and ideally questions Nintendo would’ve addressed already. But the other possibility is that Nintendo hasn’t detailed more about online because they’ve already said everything that will be there, at least at launch. They’ve showed their hand. They’re self-aware enough to realize they don’t have much history to make big ambitious online promises. So they’re charging a relatively small fee for relatively safe features. It sucks to make this shift after months of free online play, but folks will totally pay pennies a day to play Smash Bros. online and get some portable NES games.The rescheduled Nintendo Direct should be hitting any day now. There’s already news starting to leak from it like the retitled Yoshi’s Crafted World. So any lingering questions about Nintendo Switch Online should (hopefully) be resolved soon. Nothing is ever “finished” these days, hardware or games, but considering how awesome the Switch otherwise is it would be nice for Nintendo to at least tick this box at last.For more on Nintendo Switch check out this nifty Luigi’s Mansion Labo mod and cool indie games to play before Smash Bros.Buy it now!Nintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President last_img