Nintendo’s long-awaited paid online service will launch in the second half of September, the company has confirmed.
Nintendo Switch Online brings the ability to play games online with or against friends – something free up until the launch of the service, though Nintendo has always made this clear. It also adds a selection of NES games with modern updates as an enticing retro extra, the ability to back up saves to the cloud, dedicated app functionality and one-off special offers.
Prices have been set at £3.49 for a month, £6.99 for three months, or £17.99 for 12 months – additionally there is the option for a 12-month family pass, which allows up to eight linked accounts to use the service for £31.49 over a 12-month period.
This positions Nintendo’s online pass as significantly cheaper than either Sony’s Plus or Microsoft’s Gold services (both £39.99/12 months). It should be pointed out, though, both these competing services offer full, new(ish) games as part of the subscription cost, and neither puts the ability to backup your saves behind a paywall (though you are limited to USB backups on PS4 sans Plus).
Leaderboards and rankings will be available without a membership, though you still won’t be able to play anything without ponying up.
With Nintendo already enjoying a positive outlook from its Q1 financial report, it wouldn’t be outside the realms of normalcy to expect the Nintendo Switch Online service to give things even more of a boost. Especially with all those delicious retro games you can’t download from less-than-legal sites any more.