Breaking: Nintendo’s Online Service Won’t Launch For Switch Until 2018

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Ever since it announced the Nintendo Switch earlier this year, Nintendo has noted that it’s hard at work on establishing an online network for the system that will utilize a monthly fee. Today, the company laid out its plans through its website, indicating that the service will now come sometime in 2018. On top of that, it also detailed just how much it’ll cost.

The first thing the publisher noted is that online play for all games – including ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 – will be free until 2018. At that point in time, however, the company has some very fair pricing in place. It will cost $3.99 for a one-month membership; $7.99 for a three-month membership; and $19.99 for a one-year membership – not bad compared to other services on the market.

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Nintendo noted that the service will provide online lobby and voice chat, with a “new dedicated smart device app” that “will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games – all from your smart device.” It’s about in line with what the company revealed earlier today with its Splatoon 2 headset.

In addition, the company also hinted at what kind of online classic games would be offered to subscribers of the Nintendo Online service. “Subscribers will get to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario”, with an accessible "library" offered each month. Subscribers will also be able to score special deals with the Nintendo eShop, with slashed prices on select digital games and content. It’s unknown if it’s just limited to Nintendo first-party titles or not.

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The chart below breaks down just what kind of features are offered with Nintendo Online, compared to not having it. Obviously, the multiplayer is free for the next year, but a few extra features open up once you’re a subscriber.

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Nintendo is sure to detail this a little bit more in a couple of weeks during its Nintendo Direct special at E3, so be sure to check back for more information!