One of the disappointments of the Nintendo Switch conference was the confirmation that Nintendo is going to start charging for its online multiplayer service. It has been free up to this point on all of its prior systems. Nintendo hasn’t said how much it will cost to subscribe, but it did give some details as to what’s included.
From the get-go, the online service is going to be free in March. This will remain that way until sometime in the fall of 2017. Once the service starts charging in the fall, Nintendo will have online lobby and voice chat enabled. What’s strange is that Nintendo says that this will take place from a dedicated smart device app, which will connect to the Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches all from your smart device. I’m not sure if this is just worded strange, or if you need a smart device to chat. Definitely seems like an odd decision if that’s the case.
Subscribers will also get a monthly game download. It will be either a NES or SNES game with newly-added online play. It’s unclear if subscribers get to keep this game or if it’s simply rented to them on a monthly basis. Nintendo also promises exclusive deals and special offers on select digital games and content.