During the Nintendo Switch Presentation, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch Online Service. This service includes the following:
- online play for compatible games (co-op, VS, etc.).
- a smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch. It will let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games (including voice chat), all from your smart device. A free, limited version of the app will launch this Summer, ahead of the full launch in Fall;
- Monthly game download: every month, players will be able to download and play a NES or SNES game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month. Unfortunately, you have to buy it if you want to keep playing it after the “trial” month.
- Exclusive deals: special offers such as discounts on select digital games and content, and more.
But what’s really important to note about that Online Service is that it will not be free. Following in the steps of Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has decided to lock major online features behind a paywall, though there will be a free trial period until this Fall (the exact date is yet to be determined). Naturally, all online features will remain free on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo specifies that “most” games will required a paid subscription to be played online, implying that some titles will not require one.
Here’s what you have access to, depending on whether you subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online Service: