The bad news is that Nintendo Online won’t be released until 2018. The good news is that it will only cost $19.99 per year.
Nintendo released new information regarding its upcoming online service via an updated page on its official site. The website describes the service as the following:
“This paid service lets Nintendo Switch owners enjoy online multiplayer gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions.”
Basic online play will be free until the service goes live next year. At that point, it will cost either $3.99 for a one-month membership, $7.99 for a three-months, or $19.99 for a full year.
Subscribers will also be able to access online lobby and voice chat using a smart device, and will receive free classic games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Balloon Fight, each of which will have all-new online functionality added.
Currently, multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch don’t support party play or voice chat, features that are considered essential by many gamers resulting in a sore spot for the console. With a delay of the full service until 2018, upcoming multiplayer focused games such as Splatoon 2 could suffer dramatically.