New Nintendo Switch Online Details Revealed, Launch Is Imminent

Nintendo shed more light on Nintendo Switch Online during today’s Direct. Switch Online will be releasing September 18, it will cost $19.99 annually, and is needed to play online games. Nintendo detailed five aspects of the service in today’s Direct.

As has been previously noted, Switch Online will be required to play most games online. First-party games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Mario Tennis Aces will require the service for online play. It seems that free-to-play titles like Fortnite Battle Royale will be an exception, according to a Variety piece about Arena of Valor from Tencent. Whether that exception holds true for all free-to-play titles is yet to be seen.

Next up is the Nintendo Switch Online collection of classic video games. These games will support online play, and the newly announced NES Joy-Cons. The library will continue to grow, although Nintendo has not detailed how it will or how frequently. Games shown during the Direct included Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Ice Climbers, and Dr. Mario.

Cloud saves will be coming to the Switch with an active Switch Online subscription. As was recently noted, not all games will support cloud saves. Save data backups have been a consistent request from Switch users since the console launched in March 2017.

The Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app will allow users to use voice chat in certain online games. The smartphone app also has connectivity features for certain games, such as Splatoon 2, where game information can be beamed to your device for viewing.

Nintendo also announced that “special offers” will be coming for Switch Online subscribers. No further information was given on these special offers during the Nintendo Direct.

The service launches on September 18 and will cost $19.99/year for a single user. A month will cost $3.99 by itself. There is also a family plan available that costs $34.99 annually and is shareable between up to eight Nintendo Accounts.