Nintendo Switch Online is now set the launch during the second half of September 2018. Nintendo’s new launch window, which still doesn’t specify an exact day, is a further refinement on the previously slated “September” starting date.
Marking the end of Nintendo’s free online multiplayer service, Nintendo Switch Online will bring the company back in line with its console competitors and allow Mario’s home team to offer additional benefits without turning a loss. While nothing beats free, Nintendo will still remain the cheapest option for online play when compared to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold.
Nintendo Switch Online will offer two different membership options: an individual membership priced at $19.99 / £17.99 / €19.99 for a year, and a family membership priced at $34.99 / £31.49 / € 34.99 for a year (which allows the account holder to share their subscription with up to 7 other users). While the individual membership is also available in 1-month and 3-month subscriptions, the family membership is not.
In addition to online play, subscribers of the upcoming paid-for service will receive multiple benefits that weren’t available during the free trial. These include:
- 20 NES games with newly added online play (with more games to come).
- The ability to back-up their game save files to the cloud.
- Member-exclusive deals and offers.
Once the second half of September rolls around, non-paying members will lose access to online play for most titles and the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. However, the ability to add friends, access the news feed, update software, use the eShop, and share screenshots to social media will still remain free.
Considering that Nintendo will need to advertise the new paid-for service (and is willing to close in on a release window but not an exact date), it’s highly likely that we’ll see an online-focused Nintendo Direct at some point in September.