Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima took to the stage at the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017, announcing to the world that the console would release on March 3rd priced at £279.99 ($299.99). He also revealed plans for the Nintendo Switch Online Service, which will be required to enjoy online multiplayer, online lobbies and voice chat.
“With Nintendo Switch you will, of course, be able to enjoy online multiplayer gaming,” Kimishima had explained. “And when you use a smart device application that will connect to Nintendo Switch, you will be able to invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends while enjoying online matches in compatible games, all from your smart device.
“Users will be able to try out Nintendo Switch online services for free during a trial period after launch. Then, it will become a paid service beginning in Fall 2017.”
With more information promised down the line, we weren’t expecting to hear much more about it until later in the year. But, in looking for transparency, Nintendo has outlined what their early plans are for the paid service.
Online Play on Nintendo Switch will be free until the paid online service launches, a point at which “most games” will require a subscription from Nintendo in order to play online.
The reason for the free trial period is that the accompanying smart device app is still in development, which will be used to invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends in online matches in compatible games.
Then, when the paid subscription service is ready to go, users can choose whether it is worth it. To sweeten the deal, those that subscribe can “download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month.” There will also be special offers for subscribers such as discounts on select digital games and content, and help you make the most out of your time playing Nintendo Switch.
However, the NES or SNES game distribution has already been met with criticism. It has emerged that subscribers can only play it for the month that it is made available, after which they will be expected to buy it in order to continue playing.
“Confirmed by NOA: Monthly free classic game on Switch is indeed only available for that month. More deets on Virtual Console before launch,” Wired games editor Chris Kohler shared. “Sheesh, even my explanation was unclear. Sorry. After a month, you can no longer PLAY the monthly Switch online classic unless you buy it.”
Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on Friday 3rd March, priced at £279.99 ($299.99).