With the exception of Fortnite, online play on the Nintendo Switch now requires a subscription to Nintendo’s newly-launched online service. Subscriptions range from $20 per year for an individual or $35 for the family plan. Subscribing gets a player access to online multiplayer for games like Smash 4 and Splatoon 2, cloud saves*, as well as access to a handful of NES games. While $20 is rather cheap for an online subscription, one wonders if it’s worth it.The big draw to this service is almost certainly online multiplayer; one can hardly imagine playing games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart without getting to engage with some kind of multiplayer component after all. However, as Microsoft and Sony have learned, just offering online multiplayer isn’t really enough to entice people anymore. Both major platforms have robust free game and discount programs as part of their subscriptions, but Nintendo’s program only offers a handful of 20+ year-old NES game. Granted, these games have been updated to include online multiplayer, but they’re still weak sauce compared to the likes of God of War.
This just smacks of a major missed opportunity on Nintendo’s part. They have the greatest library of games of any publisher. They could have the sort-of on demand library Sony can only dream of. Fans would be all over that sort of feature in a heartbeat! That’s not what they’re doing though. They’re going with the handful of old games plan instead.
Nintendo really is a company of extremes isn’t it? They either get things really, really right or really, wrong. Hopefully they’ll be able to sort that out in the future.
What’s your take on Nintendo’s Online Service?