Back when Nintendo first announced the Switch, we also learned that Nintendo would be hopping on the ‘paid online' bandwagon, requiring a subscription fee to play multiplayer games similarly to Xbox Live or PSN. At launch in March 2017, Nintendo didn't have everything ready yet, so for the time being, all Switch users have been enjoying free multiplayer access. That will be changing later this year, with the paid online service set to roll out in September.
Nintendo head, Tatsumi Kimishima broke the news this week and confirmed that the paid online service will kick off in September. Back when Nintendo first announced paid online, the pricing structure was simple enough, at $3.99 per month, $7.99 every three months or $19.99 for a year of access. Presumably, these prices still stand.
Nintendo will hopefully reveal more details at the next Direct conference. After all, there are likely plenty of Switch owners who are currently playing and buying multiplayer games without a second thought, so Nintendo needs to get the word out relatively quickly.
Aside from access to multiplayer games, Nintendo's online subscription will also grant access to ‘a library of classic games' running on the virtual console. So far, Nintendo hasn't actually set a date for the virtual console's launch on the Switch, so hopefully that will be another subject that Nintendo tackles shortly.
KitGuru Says: I've personally been playing a lot of Mario Kart 8, DOOM and Splatoon 2 online on my Switch over the last few months. Whatever online system is in place appears to be working fine enough, which makes me wonder why it has taken Nintendo so long to launch its paid online service. Nintendo will need to get the word out fast either way, as currently, the idea of paid online has slipped from the minds of many Switch owners entirely.