Nintendo President: Don’t Expect Switch Online to “Mirror” Other Platforms

Reggie Fils-Aimé, President of Nintendo, has spoken out what comes next for Nintendo Switch Online in an interview with Forbes, warning “don’t expect us to simply mirror what others do”.

Earlier this year, Nintendo released its paid online service for the Switch, which included online multiplayer, access to the cloud for game saves, and 20 NES titles – similar to both Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus. However, Fils-Aimé remarked that Nintendo “prides itself on doing things differently”, hinting at “unique” elements to come in the future.

For now, Fils-Aimé concluded that “our focus right now is for NES content,” putting the emphasis on pushing classic games out to the service’s subscribers. At the time of publishing, the Nintendo eShop has 26 NES titles available through Switch Online, after releasing in the fall with only 20 available.

In fact, the underwhelming number of NES titles on the service then resulted in hackers installing their own ROMs through the Switch. With this in mind, the focus from Nintendo on NES games makes sense; meeting the demand for enhanced classic titles, and encouraging users to buy-in to the service early on.

Nintendo’s online service uses a paid subscription similar to its competitors, costing $19.99 a year for a single subscription, or $34.99 a year for a family plan. Yet, in its first week the Nintendo Switch Online service reached more than 5 million downloads, which again demonstrates the investment from their consumer base in the classic Nintendo brand.

In the same interview, Fils-Aimé also commented that Nintendo’s focus remains on the current generation of the Nintendo Switch, despite rumors that a new Switch console will arrive sometime next year. As usual, all major news from Nintendo is usually delivered through their regular Nintendo Direct, so we’re likely to hear more on the Nintendo Switch Online service in their next broadcast.