In January, the Nintendo Switch became the fastest selling console ever in the US, with nearly 18 million units sold worldwide as of April 2018 — all of this without any online functionality.
Whilst the Switch had local multiplayer — a staple of the classic platform — from day one, online was not a starting feature from launch, although the company had promised that the function beyond the previous online capabilities of the DS would be implemented in time.
On the 7th of May, Nintendo finally announced that their online service will launch this September, including full online multiplayer, cloud storage, and over 20 NES classics. Much more has been promised for the near future, though details remain sparse, with the long-rumoured streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer looking more and more likely.
The news, for the most part, has been positively received, with annual subscriptions priced at £17.99 — which is relatively cheap when compared to the likes of PlayStation Plus and Xbox Gold — and family memberships rising to a higher price of £31.49.
However, some people have taken issue with the announcement, with complaints mainly regarding pricing and the limited content currently on the library, as well as the paywall that will be included in storing game saves on the cloud.
The basis of many people’s arguments against the cost of subscription is that holding back future additions to the service, irrespective of the fact that the price will stay the same, means that players will be paying for an incomplete service.
On top of that, Nintendo has confirmed that there are no current plans to implement the Virtual Console library that featured in previous consoles on to the Switch, meaning that whilst they will build on the 20 classics promised at launch, the full retro gaming line will not be returning.
Given the ongoing debates, the jury is out on whether or not the service will have as successful a launch financially as the Switch did, but Nintendo are pushing forward with the current model as they assure players that much more is to come.