It’s easy to eye-roll the numerous online subscriptions introduced on the reg since we can’t smash mushrooms for the necessary hard cash, but the upcoming Nintendo Switch online service is hype. This affordable, multi-featured, paid service lets users enjoy online play for compatible Nintendo Switch games, access classic NES games with added online functionality, back up save data for most games, and use additional features for the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app that will enhance the online experience for compatible games. Take our money, and take us back to ’90s nostalgia with a modern twist.
A year’s subscription is only $19.99, which is less than the cost of an actual game. Monthly subscriptions are $3.99 per month or $7.99 for three months, allowing players to test the waters before committing to the super steep yearly price. Even better, a family membership with up to eight accounts is only $34.99 for the year. These prices may inevitably rise, but it was a smart move on Nintendo’s part. With the plethora of pricey subscriptions most people already have, the affordable prices will get a lot more people interested in the program when it’s a fraction of what they’re paying for Netflix.
Subscribers will have access to NES—Nintendo Switch Online, a compilation of classic NES games. The collection will initially include 20 games, with more added on a regular basis. At launch, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Soccer, Super Mario Bros. and Tennis will join previously announced games Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Nintendo will announce an additional 10 launch games in the future.
For the first time ever, players will be able to enjoy these classic NES games online. Depending on the game, players can engage in online competitive or co-op multiplayer, or take turns controlling the action. Friends can even watch each other play single-player games online and “pass the controller” at any time. Every classic NES game will support voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. It will also be possible to play these games offline. That’s a whole lot of functionality that is appealing to both millennials and the iGeneration, as it combines the best of both worlds. I’m basically allergic to video games, but I miss my N64 days and would be willing to throw down $20 for this program.