Nintendo Switch Online, the subscription service online gaming platform for Switch games, will launch in September 2018, according to a recent tweet from Nintendo of America.
Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions will cost $19.99 per year and, like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, will be necessary for online multiplayer gaming. Subscribers will also have access to a library of classic Nintendo titles, starting with Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario, and Balloon Fight.
Switch owners can already play games like Splatoon 2, Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Pokkén Tournament DX against other players online for free, but players will have to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online when it launches in September to continue doing so, which is kind of a bummer.
On the other hand, the only game that currently supports voice chat through the Nintendo Switch phone app is Splatoon 2, so we’re assuming that paying for Nintendo Switch Online will expand on voice chat and other features that improve online mutliplayer’s quality of life such as, for example, an actual party system.
Nintendo Switch Online’s launch was delayed back in June 2017 because Nintendo wanted to make sure that the service it was offering was “world-class,” according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, and that when it finally launches, we can expect a “robust, well-executed online environment.”