Paid subscriptions for multiplayer are something that have, sadly, become expected in gaming. It’s become the norm that sixty or so dollars will be needed to access the multiplayer portion of a game for console gaming. The Xbox 360 was the first to adopt the policy, with the Playstation 4 following in suit. Both systems try to sweeten the deal with free games, but it still upsets and angers many. For a long time, Nintendo was the only console manufacturer who allowed online multiplayer to remain free. Sadly, those days have come to an end, as the last stronghold as fallen. The Nintendo Switch will require a paid subscription for multiplayer.
Details are rather light on this service at the moment, but several key points stand out. First of all, the multiplayer for the Nintendo Switch will initially be free, but will become paid in the fall. Nintendo has added an incentive that players can “download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System™ (Super NES) game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month.” Unfortunately, this potential perk is rather poorly worded. Will customers be able to play the game for a month? Or will they have a month to acquire it in the way that Xbox Live and PS+ both operate? As of now, we don’t know.
Some of the other perks for the Nintendo Switch subscription include potential discounts, chat, and the ability to make appointments. Bizarrely, however, is that the chat and appointments will not be a part of the Nintendo Switch itself. They will be part of an app and Nintendo is promising a “free, limited version,” of it this summer. How it is limited is frankly unclear at this point. What’s more, this seems like a rather impractical way to chat to friends while playing the Nintendo Switch. All in all, this service seems rather vaguely described, and hopefully Nintendo will clear matters up in coming days.