Nintendo Switch Online, the subscription service that gives you cloud saves and access to old games, is now up for pre-order but there’s really no reason to buy it yet.
We often recommend pre-ordering games from Nintendo, since you can get a sizable discount on Amazon for doing so, and Nintendo usually doesn’t do that thing where it over-promises on a game to get pre-order sales and then fails to deliver. However, with the pre-orders for Nintendo Switch Online—currently available on Amazon in 12-month and 3-month increments—we’re a little more hesitant.
For starters, we still don’t know everything about what you’ll get with the service when it launches in September. We know you’ll need it to play games online (a service which is currently free, but won’t be after launch), and it will bring cloud game saves (which only matters for people with multiple Switches and, really, shouldn’t this be a free feature), but the big variable is games. In lieu of a Virtual Console, Nintendo will give Switch Online subscribers access to a library of 20+ classic NES games. Here are the ones we know about:
- Donkey Kong
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- Dr. Mario
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros. 3
You’ll notice that’s nowhere near 20 games. The rest haven’t been announced yet, and it’s unclear if Nintendo plans to announce them before the service launches, or if we’ll just find out the day it goes live.
Amazon is also missing options for ways to pay. You can buy 12 months of the service for $20, 3 months for $8, and…that’s it. We know that Nintendo will also offer a monthly option for $4/month, as well as a family plan that up to eight people can share for $35/year. Neither of those options are available on Amazon, so if you wanted to go those routes, you’ll have to wait anyway.
If you really want to spend your money now for a service that comes out in September, there’s not really a reason to wait, but there’s also not a reason to do it, either. If you subscribe today or subscribe in September, you’ll still get access to the same service. There are no pre-order bonuses (and there really shouldn’t be for an online service like this), and there’s no product to ship to your house that you need to get on day one. Frankly, it’s a little confusing why Nintendo is offering pre-orders on this at all.
We can’t think of a good reason why pre-ordering access to an online subscription now is any better than just waiting until it comes out, but hey, if you feel like doing it, go for it. You can pre-order the 12-month subscription here, or the 3-month subscription here.