JAPANESE GAMING OUTFIT Nintendo has finally revealed the details of its paid-for online service ahead of its September 2018 arrival.
Nintendo Switch Online, the firm's unimaginatively-named subscription-based online service, will bring cloud saving to users of the console for the first time, Nintendo announced on Monday.
Full details of the feature have not yet been revealed, but will mean that your hundreds of hours clocked up on Zelda won't be lost if your Switch goes to Borksville, or gets bricked by a 3rd party accessory.
While online play has been free on the Switch since its launch last year, Nintendo confirmed that this will change once the paid service arrives later this year. You'll need to sign up to Switch Online to play Splatoon 2, Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis Aces, and Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido online, but Nintendo notes that other games may not require a subscription.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Nintendo Switch Online is that the service unlocks access to a library of NES game with added newly-online multiplayer. We knew about some of these already, but Nintendo has now confirmed that 20 games will be available at launch.
The first 10 of these are: Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros. and Tennis.
The other 10 will be announced soon, Nintendo is promising, with more added "on a regular basis."
"Depending on the game, players can engage in online competitive or co-op multiplayer, or take turns controlling the action," the firm said in its announcement.
"Friends can even watch each other play single-player games online, and 'pass the controller' at any time. Every classic NES game will support voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. It will also be possible to play these games offline."
And finally, we also have pricing information - for those in the US, at least. For individual memberships, one, three and 12-month subscriptions will cost $3.99, $7.99 and $19.99, respectively. Nintendo will also offer a family bundle for $34.99 that allows up to eight people to use the same subscription.
While Switch Online will rid of the ability to play online multiplayer games for free, Nintendo is assuring users that not all online features will require a subscription from September.
"Online features including Nintendo eShop, Friend registration and management, the sharing of screenshots over social networks, Nintendo Switch Parental Controls, system and software updates, and Nintendo Switch News will not be affected by the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online paid service," the company said. µ
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