Nintendo will debut a paid multiplayer gaming service dubbed Nintendo Switch Online in September 2018.
The Kyoto, Japan-based company made the announcement during its earnings call for the third fiscal quarter ended December 31. Nintendo reported last night that it has sold 14.86 million Switch hybrid portable-home consoles since launching the system in March 2017.
Nintendo said that the new service will let players enjoy online gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions in compatible games.
The first game to be compatible with the app will be Splatoon 2, the colorful multiplayer shooter game. It will give you access to SplatNet2, where you can see online battle stats, your gear, and more. With the iOS and Google Play app, you can send invites via social networks and messaging service to invite friends to play with you. Once connected, you can use voice chat with friends while in the online lobby and during online play, depending on the game.
Nintendo said it will charge $4 a month for a one-month membership, $8 for a three-month membership, or $20 for a 12-month membership. The online gameplay service will be free until the paid service launches later in 2018, and the same goes for the app. Nintendo did not say when it is starting a beta period. Subscribers will get to download a compilation of classic Nintendo titles.
The Japanese company reported nine-month profit of $1.26 billion on revenues of $7.88 billion for the period ended December 31, compared with net income of $947 million on revenues of $2.86 billion for the nine months ended December 31, 2016. During the nine months ended December 31, 2017, Nintendo sold 12.1 million Switch consoles, bringing the lifetime total to 14.86 million. That means that in 10 months, the Switch has sold more units than the entire lifetime of the previous console, the Nintendo Wii U.
Nintendo has also sold 47 million games to date for the Switch.