Eurogamer is reporting that they have confirmed Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Evee will require a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online in order to trade Pokemon or participate in online matches. Back when Nintendo first announced this premium program they noted that some games would require paying for this plan, so it’s not surprising that Pokemon might be one of those games.
What did catch me off guard is the way in which this service paywall has been implemented. Due to my own naivete, I had assumed that players would be getting access to some sort of special features that we haven’t already seen before through the subscription. Instead, all we’re getting is something that every Pokemon game before this one had for free. Since the original Pokemon Red/Blue, we’ve been able to battle or trade with other players without spending an extra dollar. Why pay for something we’ve always had for free without any additional perks? This seems like an obvious cash grab to me and I’d honestly expected better from the ever so kid-friendly Nintendo.
In their statement to Eurogamer, Nintendo also confirmed that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Evee will also offer a “trimmed down set of online features from previous mainline Pokémon games – with no global trading system or Battle Spot functionality.” So basically, we’re getting less and paying more? Something doesn’t sound right here.
How much exactly are we paying more? Well according to Nintendo’s official site on pricing plans, we’re looking at $20 USD for an individual 1 year subscription and $35 USD for a 1 year family subscription. The latter allows you to invite 7 other people into your family group to also enjoy the benefits of Nintendo Switch Online.
Taking a look at the features that this subscription provides, I can’t say that I’m impressed in a positive way. As of the time of writing, Nintendo has only listed that we can get the following benefits:
1. Online Play
2. “Free” NES Games
3. Save Data Cloud Backup
4. Nintendo Switch Online App
5. TBA Special Offers
The first one allows us to play games like the new Mario Kart online that in all previous incarnations allowed us to do so for free. Then we get access to classic NES games that I don’t really see much value in. Most people seriously wanting to play NES classics would just download an emulator and roms. Honestly, the only thing from this list that I’d define as worth spending money on is possibly the cloud backup.
Hopefully Nintendo has better plans for their Nintendo Switch Online than what we’re looking at currently. I don’t mind paying for something that offers me some real value, but the way that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Evee seem to make use of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription doesn’t exactly make me want to pay for it. I have a big issue with companies taking things that were once free, and then repackaging them as new “features” that now come with a price tag.
Come on Nintendo, I’ve owned just about every system you’ve ever made including the Virtual Boy – you guys are better than this.
Featured Image Source: TechRaptor