During last night’s Press event, Nintendo confirmed that they will be moving away from the free online play to a paid service. Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that the paid service will improve upon Nintendo’s previous offerings.
“With Nintendo Switch, you will of course be able to enjoy online multiplayer gaming,” Kimishima said. “And when you use a smart device application that will connect to Nintendo Switch, you will be able to invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with friends while enjoying online matches in compatible games, all from your smart device.
“Users will be able to try out Nintendo Switch online services for free during a trial period after launch. Then it will become a paid service beginning in the fall of 2017. We will provide additional details on this paid service and its features on our home page at a later date.”
Shortly after Nintendo’s website updated with more information which shows that the Online services will include an online lobby, voice chat, a monthly game download and exclusive deals. This is similar to the services provided by Microsoft through Xbox Gold and Sony’s Playstation Plus, both of which are priced around the $60 point for the year. The interesting development comes from the Monthly game download, as Nintendo states that the game will be a NES or SNES Classic with newly added Online Play.
Back when the Switch was originally called the NX, Nintendo announced that they would focus heavily on online support for the console. The newly paid service will be free until Fall 2017 for all users, however the end date of that promotion and the price of the online service is still an unknown at this time.