Nintendo is kicking its online service up a notch with the Nintendo Switch. When the new console launches on March 3, 2017, it will include a free trial period of the online service that will last until Fall 2017. After that time it will become a paid service offering features that some gamers may already be familiar with. Let’s take a closer look at what the Nintendo Switch online service has to offer, what the free monthly Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System games are all about and more!

Paid Subscription

  • Free Until Fall 2017
  • Allows Online Co-Op and Competitive Play
  • Nintendo Switch Only, No Impact on Wii U and 3DS

Starting in March and running until sometime in Fall 2017, Nintendo Switch owners will be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing into their Nintendo Account on the Nintendo Switch console. This will be a free service through Fall 2017 will Switch owners will have to pay an unknown fee to continue playing games online.

The new subscription service is only for the Nintendo Switch and will not impact online games for the Wii U or 3DS. In addition, there may still be games you can play online for free after the free trial period ends, similar to certain games on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that do not require an annual subscription to their respective online services.

Coming in Fall 2017

  • Monthly NES or SNES Game Download
  • Online Lobbies
  • Voice Chat
  • Exclusive Deals

The initial service will only allow for online gaming with few other perks. However, starting in Fall 2017 new features will be added to the service. The most notable of these features is the monthly free game download. Subscribers will be able to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) game for the duration of the month. According to Nintendo these games will have newly-added online play as well.

In addition to the classic game downloads, online lobbies and voice chat will be available. This works through Nintendo’s new dedicated smart device app that connects to the Nintendo Switch and allows you to invite friends to play online. You can even use the app to set play appointments and chat in compatible games.

Finally, subscribers will get special offers for discounts on select digital games and content. In other words, there will be subscriber-exclusive sales to pick up digital games, DLC and more at discounted prices. All of which makes the Nintendo online subscription fairly similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. However, keep an eye on this space as we don’t yet know exactly how much this online subscription will cost, but we’ll update as soon as that information is available.