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You can play retro NES and SNES games on the Nintendo Switch – for a price

Can you play old games on the Nintendo Switch? The answer is yes, but as Nintendo readies itself to launch a paid-for online gaming service this year, the not-so-fine print is that you’ll have to pay for it.

We had plenty of questions ahead of today’s exclusive Nintendo Switch UK showcase. Top of the list was trying to dig out some more details of the Switch’s online gaming model, which had been hinted at in the past but not confirmed. But we now know that from autumn 2017, the online gaming on the Nintendo Switch will be offered as a premium service.

Pricing and an exact launch date are still to be confirmed, but we understand that a beta version of the Switch online app will be ready in time for summer. The beta will offer limited online gameplay for free, before transforming into a paid-for service in autumn.

While charging for online gaming will be a first for Nintendo, it’s hardly out of step with the rest of the industry, and our investigations into the Switch’s new premium service did yield one happy fact – retro titles will be available as part of the package.

nintendo switch

Subscribers will be able to download one NES or SNES title per month, and in addition to being able to play the classics of yesteryear, they’ll also feature online multiplayer modes.

Of course, what we really want to see if a whole slew of iconic NES and SNES games made available on the Switch immediately. But given the existence of the Nintendo Classic Mini, that seems unlikely – at least for the time being. Rather, it looks like Nintendo will opt to trickle its arsenal of classics down to the Switch – we’d wager that most of the better known NES and SNES games were available within a year or so of launch.

Check out our guide for more information on Nintendo Switch games, or click here to pre-order the Nintendo Switch.

Related: Nintendo Switch vs Wii U

Watch: Nintendo Switch – First Look

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