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Nintendo Switch Online Launches in 2018

/ Jun 2nd, 2017 No Comments

Nintendo Switch Online Launches in 2018

After a planned fall 2017 roll out, Nintendo pushes back its Nintendo Switch Online service to 2018. Nintendo Switch users can utilize online play for free until 2018.

The Nintendo Switch Online service allows Nintendo Account holders to play games online. When the service fully launches as a paid membership it will include online lobby and voice chat.


Arms launches in a few weeks on June 16 meaning you get six sweet months of free online play.

A dedicated smart device app will connect to a player’s Nintendo Switch to invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games.

A free, limited version of the app will release this summer.

The online service will offer a Classic Game Selection (title subject to change) when it launches next year. The Classic Game Selection allows players to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play.

Nintendo Switch Online Launches in 2018

The Classic Games Selection includes old classics like Dr. Mario with added online play.

Such titles can include Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario.

The Nintendo Switch Online service will possibly include discounts on select digital games and content in the Nintendo eShop.

Splatoon 2

We can’t wait to wreck shop in Splatoon 2 for free online until next year.

In 2018, non-paid subscribers will still be able to access Nintendo eShop, register and manage friends, share screenshots to social media, and access the Parental Controls app. Everything else will require a paid membership.

Pricing for the service next year is as follows: 1-Month Memberships $3.99, 3-Month Membership $7.99, and 12-Month Membership $19.99.

Quick Take

We’ve been very skeptical about Nintendo’s paid service for the Nintendo Switch since it was announced. While we still have reservations given Nintendo’s track record with online features, this is the smartest move for their paid service. Keeping the price reasonable: hell 20 bucks isn’t all that much for a year of online, especially compared to PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold. Whether it will include as much bang for the buck remains to be seen, but it is safe to be cautiously optimistic.

There are still a ton of huge questions like what exactly will eShop discounts entail and include? Or what the whole Classic Game Selection is about and how online integration will work in these older titles? More importantly what is ownership of the Classic Game Selection? Is it like Gold and PS Plus where you own those older games as long as you’re a paid subscriber, or is it a rotating selection each month similar to the early “rental” language used to pitch the paid online service? We don’t know yet, but more details are certainly welcomed from Nintendo.

A major positive is online play being free until 2018. It helps give current and future Switch owners plenty of time to grow accustomed to online play and increase chances of it catching on when it launches next year. Hell, it is just good to know we’ll be able to play Arms and Splatoon 2 for free until 2018.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
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