Nintendo Switch Online Service: Is it Worth it?

With the Nintendo Switch Online Service due to launch at some point next month, a lot of Switch users want to know whether they’ll be getting their money’s worth with the service. So, we’re here to ask and answer one simple question: is it worth it? There are a few factors to consider when figuring out if the Nintendo Switch Online Service is right for you.

Nintendo Switch Online Service: How Much Does it Cost?

nintendo switch online service img_001

While Xbox and PlayStation charge quite a pretty penny for their online services – around the equivalent cost of a retail triple-A game at $59.99 a year – Nintendo has opted to charge considerably less for the Nintendo Switch Online Service. They’re offering three different price plans: for a month’s access to the Nintendo Switch Online Service, you’ll be paying $3.99. For three months it’ll be $7.99, and for a full year, you’ll be charged $19.99. This charge will be per Switch account, but there’s also a Family membership that gives you a year’s subscription for up to eight users (even over different consoles) for $34.99. While the Nintendo Switch Online Service hasn’t rolled out just yet, there are also pre-orders up for grabs for three months and a full year on Amazon.

Nintendo Switch Online Service: What Benefits do You Get?

nintendo switch online service img_002

There are five primary benefits you’ll get from signing up to the Nintendo Switch Online Service. For starters, you’ll get access to an NES emulator with a launch line-up including the likes of Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, with online functionality and more titles on the way. You’ll also get a secure cloud storage data backup for your game save files, a dedicated smartphone/tablet app that you can use for voice chat during multiplayer games like Splatoon 2, and exclusive offers in the Nintendo eShop. There’s also the allowing of online play, but this is likely to be bittersweet, as Switch users have had this service for free since the console’s launch last year.

It’s not the only inclusion that’s seen criticism. Cloud storage backup for game save files is something that many may believe should have been an inherent part of the package from day one. The smartphone app for voice chat can also be seen as a convoluted means of incorporating voice chat into multiplayer games.

There are a few different factors that you need to weigh up when considering the value of the Nintendo Switch Online Service. On one hand, it’s the cheapest online service for a console in the market right now, and some features like the NES emulator are quite a nice bonus. But, some features feel needlessly paywalled, and given the likes of online play will be seeing a restriction as a result of the service, it entirely depends on what your priorities are when considering a subscription service.