Nintendo Switch Online Service Free Until 2018, Pricing Announced

Looks like we have to wait awhile for voice chat on Nintendo Switch.

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Nintendo Switch Online Service will be a paid service that lets Nintendo Switch owners enjoy online multiplayer gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions. Switch owners have been looking forward to details about the online service, and Nintendo decided to let us all know about Nintendo Switch Online Service during Game 1 of NBA Finals. Super nice of them!

You’ll be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing in with your Nintendo Account. Online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until the paid online service launches in 2018. This only applies to Nintendo Switch owners, and Nintendo Switch Online Service will be free until 2018. After the free-trial period, most games will require a paid online service subscription from Nintendo in order to play online.

Nintendo Switch Online will feature a  new dedicated smart device app that will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games, all from your smart device. A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017. Subscribers will also get to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. 

So there you have it. Nintendo is essentially delaying the launch of an online service that has existed on PC, PSN, and Xbox Live for many moons.

CEO

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 1, 2017 7:05 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Nintendo Switch Online Service Free Until 2018, Pricing Announced

    • reply
      June 1, 2017 7:28 PM

      $20? that's a no brainer.

      It's also so cheap that no one should complain about anything except downtime.

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      June 1, 2017 7:31 PM

      Nice. Any chance this brings down the cost of Xbox Live or PSN? Probably not.

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        June 1, 2017 7:34 PM

        PSN was free for multiplayer in the PS3 era. It didn't force XBL price drops since the quality differential was still too great. So now PSN is paid at a similar level but has quality to match. I'd be surprised if Nintendo's v1 super cheap version is that close to feature parity as to force price adjustments.

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          June 1, 2017 7:46 PM

          PSN even advanced the game by offering free games, which Microsoft offers now too.

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            June 1, 2017 7:47 PM

            yeah, well they were desperate to do something to convince people to come back and trust Sony with your credit card info after the breaches. Free games were a good trick.

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            June 1, 2017 9:09 PM

            But that was before PS+ was for multiplayer.. + was just for the free games a month initially and some other little bonuses wasn't it?

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              June 2, 2017 1:15 AM

              You still had to pay for plus though
              which got you extra cloud storage and betas and free games per month

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                June 2, 2017 1:20 AM

                But what I'm saying is that it was a premium service for the PS3 and was not used for the multiplayer requirement at all. Yes, MS probably took this idea from them, but was well before PS+ was required. (GwG cane out summer 2013)
                What I'm saying is that it didn't really advance anything as it was an optional service while gold for Xbox was more of a necessity in a way.

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        June 1, 2017 7:53 PM

        No.

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      June 1, 2017 8:09 PM

      The part where we are being forced to use an app on our smartphones for some features is definitely the stinker of this deal.

      I mean I will pay it for the deals and online play capability, but it feels odd that a good portion of the functionality you get isn't even available without using the app.

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        June 1, 2017 11:24 PM

        It's pathetic that you have to buy a $200+ accessory to be able to voice chat with other players. Nintendo really fucked that part up.

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          June 2, 2017 12:53 AM

          It is no excuse for their half assed approach, but it amazes me how little I care about voicechat in games at this point. I cannot even remember the last time I used it.

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            June 2, 2017 7:25 AM

            Same. Nintendo's approach to online falls short yet again, but I consider absence of built-in voice chat a plus.

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            June 2, 2017 7:34 AM

            It's great when it's built into the system, but I don't ever want pub chat again.

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            June 2, 2017 8:03 AM

            I don't give a shit about it either but I'm old.

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            June 2, 2017 8:06 AM

            i pretty much only play games with friends nowadays. pub chat is cancer, but i literally won't play something i can't get into a voice chat with friends.

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            June 2, 2017 8:11 AM

            It's not just voice chat, it seems match making, text chat, and friends lists are all handled by the app too.

            I'd rather all of that just be build into the OS like the 360 pioneered 12 years ago.

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            June 2, 2017 8:51 AM

            Yep. Even games like Overwatch which should rely on it heavily, I never talk on the mic. But then again I rarely play competitive.

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            June 2, 2017 8:58 AM

            Yep. I couldn't possibly care less about voice chatting with random idiots on the internet.

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          June 2, 2017 7:08 AM

          ... but you already have a phone. You use it every day for all sorts of things.

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            June 2, 2017 8:04 AM

            Making stupid assumptions like that is how we get horrible solutions like this.

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              June 2, 2017 10:17 AM

              Yes but it's disingenuous to claim that you have to spend $200+ dollars just for a Nintendo Switch when in fact you already own this thing and it does a bunch of other useful, necessary things in your life.

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                June 2, 2017 10:18 AM

                Again, you're making assumptions that aren't true for everyone.

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                  June 2, 2017 11:38 AM

                  Honestly? Who the hell is going to buy a switch and not have a smart phone? And don't say kids becuase they probably do have smart phones and shouldn't be on voice chat anyway.

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                    June 2, 2017 12:55 PM

                    You think they're going to support Windows Phone? I mean, honestly if they're going to go this stupid route, supporting windows 10 (and there for windows mobile 10) would help ease the criticism.

                    And personally, Im considering getting rid of a smart phone altogether. And even if I didn't, it's still a giant pain in the ass.

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                  June 2, 2017 12:48 PM

                  Depends on the requirements for the app. There are some pretty cheap smart devices nowadays. It is still another device that shouldn't have to be apart fo the mix.

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          June 2, 2017 7:12 AM

          How else would you propose being able to play online games when you're away from home? It is a mobile platform.

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            June 2, 2017 8:00 AM

            Huh? Plug headset in device and talk? If I have wifi (which would be required for MP anyways) they can use VOIP like every other internet game.

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            June 2, 2017 8:20 AM

            The same as this except you just turn on your mobile hotspot and don't have to take your phone out every time you want to chat or change groups or whatever.

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        June 2, 2017 8:20 AM

        doesn't this mean you now have one set of headphones for voice and one set for game audio if voice is going through the phone app?

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      June 1, 2017 8:17 PM

      wonder how expansive that classic libary will be, still 20 a year is pretty cheap.

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      June 1, 2017 8:45 PM

      I missed this, sorry for the double post.

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      June 1, 2017 9:02 PM

      this is a good price for casual play, I was scared about paying $50 for the odd game of splatoon or rocket league(hopefully) that id play on it

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      June 1, 2017 9:37 PM

      lol kind of a strange wrap-up to that article

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        June 1, 2017 10:47 PM

        Yeah, I was annoyed that I had to write this during the Finals.

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          June 1, 2017 10:52 PM

          Then have someone else do it? Kinda silly to let an interruption of a sports game affect the quality of the articles here.

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            June 1, 2017 11:27 PM

            LOL. Yeah, no one else was around to do it. I meant what I said in the article. This is sad. To launch a system in 2017 with no voice chat is pretty weak. I love Nintender, but online is not their strong suit.

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              June 1, 2017 11:31 PM

              Yep, there's no excuse for how they're handling this and how cumbersome and sad this iteration of their effort is.

              "lol, Nintendo is bad at online what were you expecting" is just people trying to make excuses and give them a free pass because they like whatever else the console has to offer

              Liking everything else is fine, but people should expect more than having to purchase $200+ in accessories to be able to voice chat on a $300 console.

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              June 2, 2017 2:56 AM

              Yep, this

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          June 2, 2017 5:41 AM

          lol i actually wondered if that were the case but since the timestamp was before the game ended i figured not

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      June 2, 2017 7:33 AM

      Gotta be honest, pretty uninterested in Switch Multiplayer. I'm sure some people are really into it though. For me Switch is going to be almost 100% single player. Especially given game pricing on the Switch, I mean I'm not paying $60 for Arms or Splatoon 2 to play online. So I'm really a lot more curious what this classic library is going to look like.

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        June 2, 2017 7:40 AM

        That's an interesting way to look at it. I do wonder how fleshed out Splatoon 2's single player will be. The first one was great (a little short but pretty great, maybe you should get a used copy at some point).

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          June 2, 2017 7:46 AM

          Yeah I mean if there are sales I'll go all in, I havent owned anything nintendo in quite a while so I was also looking forward to hitting up some of that back catalog.

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            June 2, 2017 7:48 AM

            Nice, yeah I have no idea how ARMS single player stuff will go (or if it will even have any...) but Splatoon's was great and I've got high hopes for the sequel. I'm also really keen (there's a word that's not used often enough) on the horde mode.

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        June 2, 2017 9:12 AM

        Yup, this!

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        June 2, 2017 12:56 PM

        I have a hard time caring about multiplayer at all.

        I'm interested in Arms and Splatoon 2, but I'm hoping that I can play them without going online. Mario Kart-like. I love Mario Kart, but I only play single player. Having the option to go online is nice, but I don't really like playing with random people I don't know.

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          June 2, 2017 1:52 PM

          The original had options for playing over LAN. Given the adhoc push for the Switch I would be surprised if that wasn't an option (however, it definitely will require multiple Switches in this scenario I think). Don't know about ARMS single player, but there was a real good one in the original Splatoon and it's looking more and more like the new one is going to be at least as good.