After months of faffing and rumors, Nintendo has emerged from the woodwork to set a firm launch date for the Switch Online service. The big date is less than a week away on Tuesday September 18th.
The news was announced via Twitter, where Nintendo said more will be revealed in tomorrow’s delayed Nintendo Direct showcase. The show was initially scheduled for September 6th though in the wake of the massive earthquake striking Hokkaido last week, the Japanese gaming giant opted to delay it. This week’s airing is expected to cover all manner of Switch games and news including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate among other titles.
At launch, Nintendo’s Switch Online service will be available as a free 7-day trial from the Nintendo eshop. For those wanting to sign up for the long haul, the service is reasonably priced in comparison to other console multiplayer services with prices starting at $3.99 for a 1-month subscription, while 3-months ups to $7.99, and a year’s membership is available for $20.00.
The service will allow Switch owners to get involved in online play on titles such as Splatoon 2, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushidoas, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as well as gain access to a selection of 20 classic NES games at launch with many more planned for the future. Launch titles include Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, The legend of Zelda, and more.
Though controversial, the service also hosts cloud-based save backups, but a cluster of Nintendo’s biggest titles and other big name games won’t support the feature as Game Informer reports. This is ostensibly to protect against cheating, and ‘to ensure fair play’ by not giving players the chance to affect online rankings or recuperate sold items for example.
We’re a little light on the details as of writing, but you can check out the full details over on Nintendo’s dedicated Switch Online page and tune in to tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct where more will be unveiled. As for those who don’t want to pay to play online, you’ve got until next Tuesday to cram in as many games as possible with your friends.