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Nintendo Switch Online Service Coming in 2018

Nintendo announced that their online service, Nintendo Switch Online, will be available in 2018 according to the Nintendo Switch Online official website.

Nintendo Switch Online is surprisingly cheap, starting off with $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for three months, and $19.99 for 12 months. In comparison, both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus cost $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, and $59.99 for 12 months according to the Microsoft official store website and the PlayStation official store website. Xbox Live Gold, out of these three online services, also offers a six-month option for $39.99.

Until Nintendo Switch Online comes in 2018, players will be able to use online services for free. After the paid online service launches, a majority of games will require it to play online. This service won’t affect any Wii U or Nintendo 3DS online services. If players don’t want to purchase Nintendo Switch Online, they will still be able to access the Nintendo eShop, have a Friend’s List, take and share screenshots and access Parental Controls.

One of the main features of Nintendo Switch Online is voice chat, available to use through an app for smartphones. The app will also let you contact friends and set appointments for different gaming times with friends along with voice chat during certain games. A beta version of the app will launch for free during summer 2017.

Nintendo did not confirm whether or not the appointment feature will be available in the beta version of the app launching this summer, telling IGN “Starting this summer, any Nintendo Switch owner with a Nintendo Account and a supported smart device will be able to use a version of the smart-device app with limited functionality. We have nothing further to announce at this time.”

The voice chat option for the Nintendo Switch has come under scrutiny, due to the fact that a player must have a smartphone to be able to use the voice chat app instead of just having it available through the console, like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. An example of how the voice chat will work was posted on Japanese accessories manufacturer Hori’s Twitter page, according to Polygon.

Headphones that Hori is creating around the Nintendo Switch’s voice chat will have to be plugged into a splitter in order to be plugged into both the smartphone and the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo states on the Nintendo Switch Online website that data charges may apply, meaning that depending on a player’s phone contract, they could be charged extra to use this app.

Along with the online play capability and voice chat, Nintendo Switch Online offers Nintendo eShop discounts (meaning that subscribers can buy certain games for cheaper in comparison to non-subscribers) and a classic games selection like Super Mario Bros. 3Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario that will also include online services. Nintendo Switch Online is currently only available for the United States, Canada, and Mexico at launch.

Originally, players would have the option to play a different game every month for free without the classic games selection, according to Kotaku. In a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo said “Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”

Nintendo Switch Online was supposed to be released before the end of this year, according to BGR, and was delayed to 2018.

It is currently unknown when Nintendo Switch Online will be available in 2018. Details about Nintendo Switch Online are assumed to be discussed during their E3 press conference on June 13.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.

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