Nintendo Switch’s online play won’t be free forever, but there’s an upside


UPDATE 2: It looks like Nintendo might be making a clean break from Nintendo Network, the online platform used by the current Nintendo 3DS/2DS and Wii U. Nintendo representatives at the Switch event have claimed that both Miiverse and StreetPass won’t be supported on Switch, and the upcoming platform’s online service will instead be dominated by the previously-mentioned tie-in app, as well as My Nintendo. It’s very likely then that the new online service will ditch the Nintendo Network branding, and will instead call itself something else entirely.

UPDATE: Another downside was unfortunately revealed with Nintendo now charging to play Switch online, as Nintendo representatives have claimed that the free NES/Super NES games can only be played within the month they’re offered, and must be purchased to continue being accessed after that point. Fortunately, it would appear that Virtual Console games in general might be patched to include online multiplayer modes when applicable, not just those that are offered as temporary free rewards for members of Nintendo’s unnamed new membership service.

Original report follows:


Nintendo still hasn’t addressed how the majority of the Nintendo Switch’s online features will work, though they did offer one tantalizing bit of info; The service can be manipulated to set up game sessions and interact with friends using a mobile device! This sounds like you can arrange a gaming session fairly easily, even if your main handheld unit is out of batteries, or you’re otherwise away from it.

There is a catch though, and it’s one that many a longtime Nintendo gamer isn’t going to like. While the device’s online network will initially be completely free to use and enjoy, it will switch to a paid model starting in Fall of 2017. That’s a let-down, considering that Nintendo’s devices have been completely free to play and use online until now.

Fortunately, there is a consolation. Much like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, the competing online membership services of Microsoft and Sony, respectively, Nintendo will offer paying members of their online service free games. Early reports indicate that Nintendo will offer users the chance to download one free NES or SNES game per month, and some of these games may be patched to include online multiplayer. That should make this bitter pill a bit easier to swallow, alongside the initial free period for early adopters. Early reports also suggest that, also like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, paying online members to Nintendo’s unspecified network service can also get exclusive discounts on digital games.

It’s unknown exactly how much money Nintendo will be charging people to access their online services, and other related features weren’t discussed at the event. Nintendo instead asks their consumers to wait for more news on this subject at a later date, and to keep checking back on their official page for more updates.

Keep snapping up Eggplante for all major news and updates on Nintendo Switch.