Nintendo Switch debuted more than a year ago, but it still doesn’t have a proper online service. The publisher is planning to rectify that in September when it launches Nintendo Switch Online in full with several major features and a $20-per-year price.
If you’ve used Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, you should have a general idea of what to expect. Nintendo Switch Online enables you to play certain games online with your friends or with others. These games include Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Mario Tennis Aces, and Sushi Striker: The Way of the Sushido. If you do not have Nintendo Switch Online come the September launch, those games will no longer work online except during free weekends and other promotional events.
To get the service, you’ll need to pay $4 per month, $8 for three months, $20 per year, or $35 per year for a family of up to eight people. That family even works on multiple Switch devices. That last option is particularly important because it could help move the Switch into a one-per-person system like the Nintendo 3DS.
But the biggest additions of the Nintendo Switch Online come in the form of the Nintendo Entertainment System compilation and cloud saves.
Here is what NIntendo had to say about the compilation:
“Subscribers will have access to ‘NES – Nintendo Switch Online,’ a compilation of classic NES games. The collection will initially include 20 games, with more added on a regular basis. At launch, previously announced games Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3 will be joined by Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros. and Tennis. An additional 10 launch games will be announced in the future.”
And like Nintendo has said from the beginning, it is adapting all of these games to work online. This is the first time that any of them will have official internet features.
Not all titles will have multiplayer, but some will. Nintendo also notes that some will enable you to take turns with your friends — just like when you played Super Mario Bros. 3 during sleepovers.
As for cloud saves, Nintendo is finally enabling Switch owners to recover their game data if they lose or break a system. Up to this point, players would lose all progress in certain catastrophic situations.
Oh, but you’ll still have to do voice chat using the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, so … yeah.