UPDATED: After detailing its Online Service for the Switch earlier this January, Nintendo has just announced the price point for the service. It will cost somewhere between 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen a year, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed. That would set consumers back £14 to £20 in the UK, which is surprisingly cheap compared to similar services on PS4 or Xbox One.
"With paid [services], we will be able to fully commit to customers," Tatsumi Kimishima told The Nikkei on Wednesday.
In the same interview, Kimishima also mentioned that Nintendo was not excluding to add a VR functionality to the console: "If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another," he said.
ORIGINAL STORY (January 17th): Nintendo has released more details about the online functionality of its new Switch machine.
Simply known as ‘Nintendo Switch Online Service’ at the moment, it will launch during fall 2017 with a free trial period starting this March.
“This service lets Nintendo Switch owners enjoy online multiplayer gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions,” the official blurb on Nintendo’s website says.
Available from March is a free trial of service's ‘Online Play’ functionality, which will let gamers who have a Nintendo Account play “compatible co-op and competitive games online” for free, at least until the paid branch of the service launches at the end of the year.
At that point, a number of additional features are set to launch, including a smartphone app that allow players to invite friends to join them to play online and to chat during matches.
Each month, there will also be a NES or SNES game available to download for subscribers, which will be free to play for a month (meaning players will have to buy it to continue playing once the month is over), as well as discounts on a selection of digital games.
On the surface, this appears similar to PlayStation's Instant Game Collection and Xbox Live's Games With Gold offerings, but those services let consumers keep games for the duration of their subscription, rather than simply one month.
The price for the Switch Online Service has not been revealed yet, with Nintendo stating on its website to “check back for more details on the service and its features after the Nintendo Switch system launches.”
Here’s a recap of the features the service provides, as seen on Nintendo’s website: