Nintendo revealed in a Nintendo Direct event that the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app for iOS and Android devices will launch on July 21, which is also when third-person ink-based shooter Splatoon 2 will be released for the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch Online app is part of the hybrid console's Nintendo Switch Online experience, which will cost $19.99 annually but delayed until 2018.
Nintendo Switch Online Mobile App: What Is It For?
In the updated Nintendo Switch Online page, Nintendo stated that the mobile app was "designed to enhance your online experience for compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console."
Upon its launch in a couple of weeks, the Nintendo Switch Online app will only be compatible with Splatoon 2. Through the app, players will be able to engage in voice chats with their friends, invite other users to online matches, and assemble teams. In addition, they will also be able to access SplatNet2, which offers online play statistics, schedules for upcoming events, lifetime inkage, shopping for in-game gear, and other information on Splatoon 2.
The iOS and Android app will allow voice chat for the first time in multiplayer modes of games for the Nintendo Switch. However, it also increases the likelihood that the voice chat feature will not be a native feature of future Nintendo Switch games, and will require players to use the app to talk with their friends online.
The app will carry limited functions and compatibility upon its launch, but it is expected to support more games and offer more services as Nintendo further develops Nintendo Switch Online.
Nintendo Switch Online Coming Soon
Online play in Splatoon 2 and other Nintendo Switch games will be free until Nintendo Switch Online is rolled out sometime in 2018.
In addition to enabling online play, the subscription service also offers classic Nintendo games that can be downloaded and played online, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario, and Balloon Fight. Subscribers will also be able to enjoy deals on the Nintendo eShop.
Nintendo Switch Online will cost $19.99 per year, $7.99 for three months, or $3.99 per month. No definite date, however, has been set for the launch of the service.
The Nintendo Switch made a splash in the recently concluded E3 2017, showcasing Super Mario Odyssey and revealing upcoming titles Metroid Prime 4, a new Pokémon RPG, Yoshi, and Kirby. Nintendo, however, still needs to catch up with the massive supply crunch for the hybrid console, especially as we head into the holiday shopping season.