Bad new for fans of retro gaming: New Switch Online games will no longer be arriving on a regular schedule. Users could previously expect to get new NES titles on a monthly basis as a bonus alongside a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. With the recent batch of SNES games that were added, Nintendo Switch gamers may have been hoping that this would be the norm going forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least going by what Nintendo of Japan is saying.
First, here’s some background on the whole situation: Nintendo Switch Online is the subscription service for playing Nintendo Switch multiplayer games online, akin to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. Nintendo has recently been leveraging its hefty library of retro content to give players access to these titles for free with the subscription, somewhat similar to the Xbox Game Pass but for much older games. Nintendo had been getting new Switch Online games every month, but it looks like this may be changing.
Video Games Chronicle reports that Nintendo of Japan’s website says new SNES titles are going to be added “irregularly” instead of every month for the foreseeable future. If you’re keener on the 8-bit era, you’re in a bind there, too—the company said that this new policy will also apply to NES titles coming to Nintendo Switch Online.
Nintendo hasn’t yet said if this same policy is going to apply to the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. We haven’t yet received any word on the matter, but where Japan leads, the rest of the world often follows—especially with companies that are headquartered in Japan.
Although the potential lack of timely releases may be disappointing to some, this could also allow Nintendo to release bigger, more bombastic batches of content like the more than a dozen SNES titles that were all announced in one go. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not this is ultimately better.