The Nintendo Switch online subscription service launches in September, and, while it will be required to play competitive and co-operative games online, those that subscribe will also gain access to a growing library of classic NES titles.
Now referred to as the somewhat wordier Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime has reasoned this should be seen as the “Virtual Console successor.”
“The Virtual Console successor is Nintendo Switch Online, right? With the mentality that says we’re going to be offering a slate of games, and it’s a slate that’s going to increase over time,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “For many of these games, there’s going to be additional online capability provided in those games. That’s the vision we have for how to best bring our legacy content to Nintendo Switch.”
He continued: “We do [believe people will subscribe], and I say that because what we’ve laid out is a proposition where, yes you get the competitive play accessibility, you also get the cloud save, and you get access to the legacy content. That’s a fantastic proposition for $20 a year. We believe that it’s not going to be any type of issue for us. In fact, it’s going to enable us to continue offering a varied slate of opportunities from an online experience standpoint.”
You will be able to play 20 NES games when the service launches, with the first 10 confirmed as Ice Climber, Soccer, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, Tennis, Dr. Mario, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and Balloon Fight.
These will have online play added to them that will let you compete or cooperate with friends, share your screen, or pass the controller – although these options will understandably differ for each game. You can also use the Nintendo Switch Online app to voice chat in your play sessions.
The Nintendo Switch Online service will launch in September with pricing plans at £3.49 ($3.99) per month, £6.99 ($7.99) for three months or £17.99 ($19.99) for 12 months.
There is a 12 month Family Membership for £31.49 ($34.99), which will allow a Nintendo Account holder to “invite up to seven others to join a family group” that will all have access to Nintendo Switch Online.