Nintendo changes its Switch online service plans, delays paid version to 2018

(Image credit: Nintendo)

When it was announced that Nintendo Switch would require a paid subscription to access online features, it ruffled some feathers. When the company said that, as part of that subscription, players would get access to one retro game per month (access which would then expire at the end of each month), I dare say it ruffled a few more. But plans have changed.

Nintendo Switch Online (which is both what the service does and its proper name) will now be free until 2018. Nintendo hasn't said at what point in 2018 the fee will kick in, but it has at least given us a price: $4 / €4 per month, $8 / €8 per three-month period, $20 / €20 per year.

Nintendo's plans for retro games have also changed. No longer will subscribers be limited to a single game per month - instead, those who pay into Nintendo Switch Online will be granted an all-you-can-play buffet. As the company told Kotaku, "Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription."

So yeah, it's basically like Netflix, but for Nintendo games. NESflix, if you will. It'll launch in 2018 alongside paid service.

Of course, you'll still need to take some extra steps to get voice chat in Splatoon 2, and there's still that rumor of a GameCube Virtual Console hanging around...

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.