If there’s one thing Switch owners aren’t looking forward to, it’s having a paid subscription for online pay. The Nintendo Switch Online service has mercifully been delayed by over a year, meaning that we can currently play games like ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online for free, but come September that will change.
Now Nintendo have revealed a couple of new features: cloud saves, family pricing, and some of the first 20 games in the NES online library. Though details are still a bit thin on the ground, these seem like good moves on the whole.
First, cloud saves will allow you to backup you game saves and stop your precious Breath of the Wild progress from being lost if your console dies, gets lost or stolen, or whatever. It should also allow you to easily jump between consoles and pick up your progress, but Nintendo simply say, “Details about this feature will be available before the paid service launches in September.” The caveat is that the press release says it will be available “for most Nintendo Switch games”, and we’ll have to wait to discover what that means.
Much clearer is the family pricing. Nintendo Switch Online will be available for $19.99/€19.99 for 12 months, as previously announced, and can be had for $4 or $8 for one and three months respectively, however it turns out that this will apply only to the account that you subscribe on. Family pricing comes in just 12 month package for $34.99/€34.99, but this will let you share a subscription with up to seven other accounts (both adult and child) that are in a “family group” – you can create these from 15th May.
It’s not explicitly made clear, but it seems that this is account based, and so can span multiple consoles.
Update: Having now received the press release ourselves, we can confirm that you will be able to share a family membership with up to eight Nintendo Accounts and across different consoles.
Finally, the NES game library will feature a bunch of classics from the 8-bit era, all updated to include online multiplayer. For games that already feature multiplayer, that’s going to add online functionality, but for single player games, it will implement a kind of online pass and play system.
Those first NES games will include:
- Donkey Kong
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- Dr. Mario
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros. 3
Oh, and finally, Nintendo are still sticking with their plan to offload features like voice chat into the smartphone app which, as anyone who’s used it for 15 seconds will tell you, sucks.