Nintendo Switch

By: Nick Gambino

Nintendo has been notoriously anti-online gameplay – seemingly. While Xbox and PlayStation have enjoyed success with their online platforms offering a multiplayer experience for games like Call of Duty and Gears of War, Nintendo has steered clear of this model.

Well, better late than never, right? The house that Mario built has just announced Nintendo Switch Online, a service that supports their most popular contemporary console.

Launching in September, Switch Online will give subscribers access to a plethora of classic NES games like Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Dr. Mario. The service will launch with 20 titles and will be added to regularly.

But of course, they can’t just build an online platform solely on the backs of classic titles. Swonline, as I like to call it, will include a backup feature that allows you to store all of your data and progress online for access anywhere. It’s hard to imagine the Switch even got this popular without an online backup feature.

Games that will include online co-op or competitive modes such as Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, require a subscription if you want to wipe the floor with some stranger half-way across the world.

Now that brings us to pricing. You didn’t think you were getting this for free, did you? For a one-month membership, it’ll set you back a whopping $3.99; three months will cost $7.99 and an annual membership will require you to cough up $19.99.

Honestly, those figures are chump change compared to the price for online gameplay on an Xbox or Playstation which each command $60 for the year.

There’s even a family plan that costs $34.99 per year and allows up to 8 users to sign onto a single account.

Nintendo is also launching a Switch Online app to go along with the service. It will include voice chat features and other enhancements for individual games. That’s about all the information we have on the Android and iOS app so far.

With the mobility and modularity of Switch making it Nintendo’s most popular modern console, the added online service should only bolster that.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.