The Switch free-play party is almost over. Nintendo has confirmed that it’s Switch Online paid service will be launching in the second half of September, bringing to an end the online free-for-all of Mario Kart and Splatoon 2
Nintendo has been promising the online service since last year, but only revealed more details this year. In essence, it’s very similar to the services set up by rivals Microsoft and Sony for the Xbox and PlayStation families. Users pay a subscription, and in return can take part in online play, backup their saved games to the cloud and enjoy a selection of free titles. Only, in this case, Nintendo’s selection of free games currently only includes remastered NES games with added online play.
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In Nintendo’s defence, this considerably more meagre offering also comes at a much lower price. You can get one month’s access for £3.49/$3.99, three months for £6.99/$7.99 or a whole year’s access to multiplayer Nintendo fun for £17.99/$19.99. That’s slightly less than half the cost of rival offerings.
Of course, said rivals don’t just have the older free games to point to when arguing about their value. There’s a real shortage of Switch games that currently support online play making it a slightly trickier sell. At the moment, fans seem to be making do with Mario Kart 8, Fortnite and Splatoon 2, though Super Smash Bros Ultimate may well sell a few subscriptions on its own.
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When Switch Online is officially launched in the second half of September, free online play will be a thing of the past, leaving current players with a simple choice: stick to offline play, or pay up. Unfortunately, with Super Smash Bros Ultimate launching in December, there won’t be time to try before they buy.
Will you pay for Switch Online, or do you prefer your single-player gaming? Let us know with a quick message on Twitter to @TrustedReviews