Details on Nintendo’s promised online service for the Switch have been scarce, but now we know that it will mercifully offer cloud saves, plus we know some of the classic games it will include.
The Nintendo Switch Online service will come in a few pricing flavors, depending on how often you want to pay, but none of them are overly expensive. You can pay $3.99 per month ($48/year), $7.99 every three months ($32/year) or just pay for the whole year up front for $19.99. Families can also get a shared plan for $34.99 per year that will allow up to eight members of a household to share access.
So, what do you get for that money? Partially, you’ll get access to features that are currently free like playing online with friends. Nintendo has also finally revealed that cloud game saves will be part of the Switch Online feature set. The company hasn’t announced exactly how this will work, but given how complicated it is to transfer user data currently, this will be a welcome addition.
You’ll also get access to a selection of classic Nintendo games. Previously, Nintendo stated the games in this collection would rotate out, meaning you could only play a particular classic game if it was included that month. The company has (in our estimation, wisely) decided to ditch that approach and instead offer an ongoing and growing collection of games for Online subscribers to download and play whenever they want. At launch, the service will include 20 games, including the following ten:
- Donkey Kong
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- Dr. Mario
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros. 3
For anyone interested in NES games, that’s a pretty solid list to start with, especially if there will be even more by the time the service launches in September. However, with the good news comes the bad: according to a statement given to Kotaku, Nintendo will not be bringing the Virtual Console to the Switch. Instead, the company will use a combination of this online service, as well as selling some pre-packaged games directly on the eShop.
If the Nintendo Switch Online library of games, combined with the standalone titles in the eShop, grows to a sufficient portion of Nintendo’s back catalog, it might be a worthwhile trade. However, we should point out that since the Virtual Console was an entire emulator platform, it had a ton of games. Some of them weren’t even published by Nintendo. We’ve already seen other publishers skip waiting for the Virtual Console and just publish their own games directly to the eShop, so it might be fine, but Nintendo has a long way to go in order to catch up to the old school offerings their past consoles had.
Source: The Verge