If you somehow haven’t heard, the Nintendo Switch has launched to be one of the fastest selling and acclaimed consoles in recent years. But for all its feats, the Switch has lacked something that just about every other recent console shipped with, a robust online gaming network. While we’ve known one for the Nintendo’s latest was on the way, last night the company finally announced that its highly anticipated online service would finally be launching later this year in September.
The Nintendo Switch first launched back in March 2017 with a pretty barebones online service compared to other flagship consoles. Sure you could add your pals, keep track of your gaming history and stats, along with sharing content over social media, but fans have been clamoring for more. Just about every other aspect of the Switch was polished and well-thought out, so why shouldn’t the same be true for the console’s online capabilities.
One of the most telling examples of the sad state of Nintendo’s ‘modern’ online infrastructure was with the launch of Splatoon 2. The casual shooter game was touted as the first to pack voice chat, one of the most sought after features missing on the Switch. This ended up being true, but was executed pretty terribly, requiring a smartphone app and headphone splitter alongside the console itself.
Not much has changed in the past 10 months since the must-have console’s release. Nintendo added video capture so you can share gameplay over Twitter, but for the most part the online service that launched with the Switch nearly a year ago is unchanged. Since then, we’ve been waiting on a paid service promised back during the console’s announcement, but Nintendo has been pretty quiet about what it has in store.
The new online platform was originally scheduled to launch back in September of last year, but with delays, it’ll be close to a full year from the original date until it launches. While Nintendo’s announcement last night put some of the complaints to rest, there’s still a lot up in the air about how everything will work out.
Unfortunately, details are incredibly scarce at this point. But like many, I’m just excited to finally be getting a confirmation that an update is in fact on the way. Voice chat is one of the most-desired features, but things like access to extra downloadable content, free games and other enhancements will be a nice addition as well. Pricing is set at $20 a year, with per-month plans starting at $4.
I for one am eagerly awaiting the service’s launch in September, but if there’s a feature you cant wait to see, let us know in the comments!