Nintendo revealed on Thursday evening that the Switch online service, which was original set to launch before the end of the year, has been pushed back to 2018. Switch owners will be able to play online for free until the service launches next year, at which point they can pick up a 12-month membership for $19.99, a 3-month membership for $7.99 or a 1-month membership for $3.99.
As the company previously announced, an app “will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games” from your phone. Although the online service itself has been delayed, a “free, limited version” of the app will be available this summer, presumably for Splatoon 2.
In addition to sharing pricing details for the first time, Nintendo has also revamped the Classic Game Selection feature. Previously, Nintendo had discussed a feature of its online service which would allow players to download a single classic game with new online functionality from its massive library. Once the month was over, that game would disappear and be replaced by another game.
It appears that the plan has changed, as Nintendo is now describing the Classic Game Selection as “a library of classic games you can take anywhere.” Here’s what Nintendo told Kotaku about the change:
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 subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.
It’s unclear if this is replacing the Virtual Console from the Wii, Wii U and 3DS or if it’s a separate feature altogether, but it’s certainly a major improvement over the original version of the feature.