What the hell is going on with the Nintendo Switch’s online services?

online.pngNintendo’s messaging about its online for Switch wasn’t too clear upon its reveal last week, but a recent interview with Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aimé have shed some light on what it will look like.

As Nintendo stated during the Switch Presentation, its next console’s online service will be free of cost at launch, but will become a subscription (read: paid) service in fall 2017.

Reggie told YouTuber ProJared that players can choose to pay a monthly or yearly fee, and that the charge has yet to be specified.

At launch, the Switch’s online component will be pretty bare-bones. Voice chat and online lobbies are set to debut in fall, and those features will seemingly have to be accessed via a smartphone app that Nintendo are currently developing.

It is unclear whether or not this app will be the only way to do voice chat, but what Reggie told ProJared suggests that that functionality will not be accessible directly through the console.

“There will be voice chat available through the application that we are developing, which is very cool”, he said.

His reasoning for not making this available on the Switch itself is that the system is portable.

“Having it as a part of a smartphone application ensures that it’s always there with you”, he explained.

Subscribers will also have access to one free NES or SNES Virtual Console game with added online functionality every month. The catch is that this game is basically a one-month rental, unlike Games With Gold, whose games you keep forever, or PlayStation Plus, whose games are yours until your subscription expires.

To sweeten the deal, subscribers will also have “exclusive offers” for their digital purchases.

Non-subscribers will still have the ability to add friends and share screenshots abd video via the Switch’s Record Button, but everything else will be locked behind the paywall.

What price would be right for you?

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7 thoughts on “What the hell is going on with the Nintendo Switch’s online services?

  1. How about free? I fail to understand why this requires payment just to play online. I am still getting the system because I am a huge nintendo fan who has been waiting for this system for years, but I really hope they justify their reasoning behind the pay wall.

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    • You think that servers and online stuff is all magik? Nobody makes it or runs it? … Yes free was great but now as times get on we have to pay for online same as the other two, it’s not a bad thing, Ninty has got local multiplayer still which rox, the other two haven’t really. I don’t know really maybe £30-£45 year?

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  2. I don’t have a concern in paying a reasonable fee for reliable servers. What I do have concerns about are that Nintendo either has not looked at what XBox and Playstation are doing, do not care what XBox/PS are doing, and/or are not being clear what Nintendo is doing. I have both the XBone and PS4, and feel I get good value for my money with their online services. I feel that they are still trying to figure out how to do reliable online, which is why it is free until the fall.

    I strongly dislike this – “There will be voice chat available through the application that we are developing, which is very cool”, he said. His reasoning for not making this available on the Switch itself is that the system is portable. “Having it as a part of a smartphone application ensures that it’s always there with you”, he explained. No, this is not very cool. First, a smart phone is ALSO a portable device – why do I need TWO portables to play online? Isn’t one of the strong selling points of the Switch that it IS portable, that you can take your gaming with you? Not if I need another piece of equipment to fully use it. And what about playing at home?

    I realize Reggie needs to say what Nintendo tells him to say – but what they are telling him/not telling him doesn’t really help make sense of their message. The message I’m getting is that the Switch is being put out sooner than it should be – it seems to me that it has not been fully thought through or prepared, that they’re not looking at the competition, and that Nintendo expects premium pricing for a non-premium system based on the Nintendo name alone.

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    • >Nintendo expects premium pricing for a non-premium system based on the Nintendo name alone.

      I am a Nintendo fan (often a frustrated one) and this has -always- been the case

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      • I’ve had the N64 (my first console), the GameCube, and currently have a 3DS. The other two were a couple decades ago, but I feel at that time that I was getting value for my money. Unfortunately, I just don’t get that feeling with the Switch…not just with comparison to other systems, but with the Switch and it’s accessories. Maybe I’m just getting older and cranky but the initial price point, the cost of accessories, and the unknowns this close to launch are what give me that feeling.

        I enjoy Nintendo games as an alternative to the “mainline console” fare, but with Microsoft and Sony better embracing Indy games, I can get that feeling on another console – Rime being a case in point. I have open world RPGs, so Breath of the Wild is not a system seller for me. I have racing games, so Mario Kart is not a system seller for me. Super Mario Odyssey, most likely, is the game that will get me to finally purchase a Switch. Of course I would love to have a price drop by then, and maybe a Mario-themed Switch…I can dream!

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  3. I don’t mind paying for online…however I bet it is on Android and iPhone only…so the few of us Windows Phone owners are stuck…and I am not buying a new phone just to play online with the Switch…stupid idea, it should be baked into the console.

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