This morning, Nintendo has put out a tweet confirming that Nintendo Switch Online, its paid service that will allow Switch users to use online functionality, is set to launch in “the second half of September”.
So, sometime shortly after 15th September, all Switch owners will need to purchase a membership if they wish to continue to play online. Since the Switch launched in March 2017, that functionality has been free. Not anymore.
The Switch Online service can be paid for either monthly, three-monthly, or annually. A month’s membership is £3.49/$3.99, while a year will cost £17.99/$19.99, so in terms of value for money, an annual membership seems to be the way to go.
Along with being able to play the online parts of your games, the service will also grant subscribers access to a cloud to store save data. Finally, there will be an easy way to store and move saves!
There will also be a library of 20 NES games available for subscribers to play. This isn’t a Virtual Console, but Nintendo promise new games will be added regularly. Whether or not those games will ever expand from NES games is unknown. The starting lineup includes Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, The Lend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3, among others. Certainly not a bad selection.
It also seems like there will be exclusive special offers and discounts available to members, although more information on the nature of those offers is not yet available.
A membership to Switch Online is tied to one Nintendo account. If you have multiple Switches, you’ll be able to use the online services on any device you’re signed into that account with. But if you have family members who like to be signed into their own accounts, they’ll need their own Switch Online membership. Fortunately, there is a family membership available, allowing access to up to eight accounts for £31.49/$34.99.
You can find more information about Switch Online on the official Nintendo website.