Nintendo Switch's online service will offer paid plans for solo gamers and families.
The Nintendo Switch Online service launches in September, and you’ll be required to subscribe if you and your little ones want to continue playing online with others in games like Splatoon 2 or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Online play has been available for free, but once the service launches, competitive and cooperative online play (in any game that supports it), will only be available for those who decide to pay up. If your family doesn’t play games online, and you’re not interested in the service’s other premium features, you’ll be able to keep using your Switch as you currently do.
Solo gamers can choose from three different plans:
- One month: $3.99
- Three months: $7.99
- 12 months: $19.99
Thankfully, this is way cheaper than similar services on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (both cost $59.99 per year), but the deal is even better for families. The family membership will cost $34.99 per year.
The family plan is meant for households with multiple gamers (and multiple Switch systems). It will allow up to eight different people to use the service across different Switch systems, so parents and kids alike will be able to access every feature for a single price.
The online service will also allow you to create a backup of your game save data (all of your in-game progress) for “most” Nintendo Switch games online, so you won’t need to start all over in your favorite games if something happens to your Switch, or you decide to pick up a second Switch.
The service will let subscribers play 20 classic Nintendo games from the original Nintendo Entertainment System at no additional cost. Some highlights include The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario and the first Donkey Kong, and new games will be added after the service goes live. Some of these games will let you play online with others, either competitively or cooperatively, depending on the game.
These classic games will support voice chat through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app, so parents, make sure to lay down the same rules you’ve setup on other systems before letting your kids talk to others. Or, tell them they can only play these games offline.