While Nintendo has kept fairly quiet about the Switch’s online service, fans have been pretty vocal on the matter. Sure, some details were released (and not all of them satisfying), but a crucial question hadn’t been answered barely over a month before launch. How much will this service cost? The president of Nintendo in Japan finally gave us an idea on Wednesday. He reported a price range of 2,000 to 3,000 yen per year to the Nikkei Asian Review. If the price doesn’t differ for American gamers, that comes out to $17.60 to $26.40 annually. Even at the top of the price range, that’s less than half of the $60 annual fee for Xbox and PlayStation’s online services.
This will probably go a long way to stave off the disappointment fans felt in learning the details of Nintendo’s “free” monthly NES or Super NES download. Unlike the free downloads from Xbox Gold and PlayStation Plus, it’s only free for that month. Purchasing the game is required to keep playing it afterward. At least the lower online service cost makes it a little less painful as you buy Super Mario World for the fifth time. Plus, there’s a free trial period for online play until Fall.
The Japanese president also planted the idea of virtual reality functionality for the Switch. He stated to the Nikkei Asian Review, “If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another.” Don’t get too worked up, yet. No information on when this might happen was given.
If you haven’t seen the details released last month about the Switch’s online service, Nintendo’s website has a nice layout of them. It’s not unlike their competitors’ online services, allowing online multiplayer gameplay and in-game chatting with friends. However, being their innovative self, Nintendo decided to do this through an app on your smart phone. Might be a handy feature with the Switch’s on-the-go nature, but it might not go over well on those who just want a home console experience. Only time will tell what impact Nintendo’s choices will have on their fans. They state on their website that more details regarding the online service will be posted after the Switch’s launch.