Days before E3, Nintendo pulled the lid off of their Nintendo Switch Online service. For $20 a year, you’re getting online play, lobbies, voice chat, eShop deals, along with a new Classic Game Selection offering that could be the gem of this whole service.
I’ve never been a fan of paying for online play, but a few things about Nintendo’s service stands out. For one, $20 a year is far cheaper than the services offered by Microsoft and Sony. Two, the inclusion of Classic Game Selection could make the the service totally worth it.
There was some confusion about this, as Nintendo had previously stated that owners of this online service would get access to only one Virtual Console game per month with added online play. That has now changed, as Nintendo is now giving subscribers access to a compilation of NES games that have been updated with online play. The first three mentioned are Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario.
No word yet on what’s happening to being able to buy Virtual Console games ad hoc, or how big the Classic Game Selection library will be, but this is a step in the right direction. The previous offering of one game a month was insulting, but this has the potential to be a Netflix-style game offering. My guess is that you’ll still be able to buy games separately, but the Classic Game Selection will have a small-to-decent sized library of games to access at any time.
From what we know now, I think Nintendo got the price right. The Classic Game Selection has the potential to be amazing if Nintendo goes all the way with the concept. My only big question mark has to do with managing voice chat on the smartphone. Having now seen the monstrosity that is the Splatoon 2 chat adapter, I hope that Nintendo finds a way to clean up that mess. If so, then that, along with this online service, are steps in the right direction.