From the days of the Gamecube online adapter to Switch titles like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2, Nintendo has been the only current console maker to never charge its customers an additional fee for access to online multiplayer gameplay. That’s set to change on September 18, when the paid version of Nintendo’s Switch Online service will finally launch worldwide.
The paid subscription service, which was originally slated to launch in the fall of 2017, replaces the current free online gameplay trial that has been available to all Switch owners since last year. After September 18, users will get an additional seven-day trial of the paid service to ease the transition into the new subscription.
Following that, though, Switch users will have to pay the previously revealed prices of $4 a month or $20 a year for online play in games including Splatoon 2, Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis Aces, and Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido. Some other Switch titles, including free-to-play games, will be playable online without a subscription, and Nintendo has promised more details will be revealed in a Nintendo Direct presentation tomorrow.
Switch Online subscribers will also get access to additional features, including a library of 20 downloadable emulated NES titles that each come with additional Switch-enabled online features (that library is set to grow in the future). Subscribers also get access to cloud-based save-file backups for most (but not all) Switch games.
Switch owners will still have to use a separate smartphone app for voice chat in supported games like Splatoon 2, and that app will only work for paid subscribers to the Switch Online service starting on September 18.
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