After falling well short of expectations with the Wii U, 2017 has been a year of redemption for Nintendo. The Nintendo Switch rocketed out of the gates back in March and never looked back, surpassing 10 million units sold in under a year. The console’s strengths are in the fact that it has a healthy supply of exclusive, first-party games and interesting features for players to utilize. However, one area where it could improve is with its online services.
Originally promising a paid model to be rolled out early in the Fall of 2017, Nintendo’s fee-based service appears to be facing another delay. In the product description on the Nintendo Italy website, the blurb previously mentioned that the the Switch’s online service will be available free of charge until the service officially launches in the Autumn of 2018. Interestingly enough, since the original story broke, the description has since been amended so that the site no longer gave a time frame of Fall 2018.
While not explicitly mentioned, many are now speculating that Virtual Console support won’t arrive until the paid model releases. Considering that online play for all games is currently free, rolling out an online service packaged with a new and improved Virtual Console only strengthens the product. In addition, instead of offering one free virtual console game for free per month, the new online service intends to provide subscribers with a streaming service that provides access to classic games retrofitted with online play.
This isn’t the first time the service has been delayed. Earlier this year, Nintendo issued a press release, confirming that the online roll-out had been delayed to the Spring of 2018. Along with the new release date, Nintendo revealed updated details surrounding the service from the new virtual console streaming service to the new pricing system. A single month of access will cost $3.99, three months at $7.99 and a full year comes in at $19.99. With this second potential delay, it’ll be interesting to see if Nintendo makes any additional changes considering the length of time the console and free online will have been available by that point.
Source: Nintendo Italy (via Reddit)