NINTENDO HAS CONFIRMED that it's long-awaited Switch Online service will debut in the second half of September.
Nintendo Switch Online is the firm's unimaginatively-named subscription-based online service. When it arrives next month, you'll need to sign up in order to play the likes of Splatoon 2, Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Tennis Aces online, but Nintendo notes that other games may not require a subscription.
The service also unlocks access to a library of NES games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda and Dr. Mario, with newly-added online multiplayer, with Nintendo promising that 20 NES games will be available at launch.
"Depending on the game, players can engage in online competitive or co-op multiplayer, or take turns controlling the action," Nintendo said earlier this year.
"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."
Nintendo Switch Online will also bring with it a 'Save Data Cloud backup' feature that will ensure 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 UK pricing hasn't yet been confirmed, we know how much it'll cost in the US. 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.
Nintendo Switch owners will not be automatically charged when the service launches in the second half of September, the firm said in its latest announcement.
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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