Nintendo’s eagerly anticipated Switch online service will arrive in the second half of September, according to Nintendo’s official blog. The company announced the news late Thursday, suggesting that Switch owners and fans “plan ahead for the new service.”
This means that by the end of September, gamers who own the Nintendo Switch will no longer be able to play online for free. The subscription will be a requirement to play games like Splatoon 2, ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the recently released Mario Tennis Aces online. While the subscription is necessary for online play, Nintendo makes a note to let fans know that they will not be automatically subscribed to the service when it is rolled out.
Compared to other competitive services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, Nintendo Switch Online doesn’t offer as much in terms of content. In addition to online play, subscribers to the new service will be able to enjoy a rotating list of classic NES games with online play and back up their saved game data online via the cloud. There will also be special offers and a connection to the Nintendo Switch mobile phone app, which allows players to invite friends to games and engage in voice chat with friends in an online lobby.
While it might not have recently released games as a part of the service, the Switch Online service is noticeably cheaper. Players can purchase a one-month ($3.99), three-month ($7.99) or annual subscription ($19.99). There is also a family plan ($34.99) that allows one Switch account to invite seven others to join a family group and have access to online services.