At long last, Nintendo
is just days away from rolling out its online service
for its hybrid Switch console
. Nintendo plans to flip the switch, so to speak, on September 18 (next Tuesday), and will be offering up a free 7-day trial to peruse the service before committing to a paid subscription, which will start at $3.99 per month.
Longer commitments come with price breaks. In addition to the $3.99 per month plan, Nintendo will offer a discounted three-month membership for $7.99, and an annual plan that runs $19.99. In addition, users will be able to select a 12-month family membership for $34.99. Those who sign up for a family membership can invite up to seven others to join a family group.
The new Nintendo Switch Online service is similar to Xbox Live
in that it will be required to play certain games online, such as Splatoon 2, ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis Aces, and Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido. Users who own multiple Switch systems do not need to purchase separate online accounts, they just have to sign in.
Of course, purchasing an online subscription is not mandatory, and there will be some online services that operate without one.
"Online features including Nintendo eShop, Friend registration and management, the sharing of screenshots over social networks, Nintendo Switch Parental Controls, system and software updates, and Nintendo Switch News will not be affected by the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online paid service," Nintendo says.
As an added bonus, Nintendo is offering up a selection of classic NES
games with online play to those who subscribe to the service. There will be 20 games initially, including Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and several others.
The online service is rolling out alongside a new system update, version 6.0.0. It will go out around 5PM Pacific (8PM Eastern), at which time the Nintendo eShop will be under maintenance for a "brief period of time," Nintendo says. If all goes to plan, it will be a three-hour window. The update is required before purchasing an online plan.