Nintendo has finally revealed the launch date for Nintendo Switch Online, the long-delayed subscription service that was supposed to be available to players as soon as the hybrid console was released in March 2017.
Nintendo Switch Online Launch Date Revealed
Late last year, reports claimed that Nintendo Switch Online will launch in the fall of this year. The rumors started when Nintendo's Italian website mentioned the release window. The information was taken down afterward, which meant that the website revealed the release date too early, or the mentioned release date was wrong.
It now appears that the rumors were true. In a tweet, Nintendo finally revealed that Nintendo Switch Online will launch on September 2018.
Nintendo Switch Online is expected to be the Nintendo Switch version of the PlayStation Plus for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox Live Gold for the Xbox One. Once it is activated, subscribers will be able to access online multiplayer modes, the voice chat app and online lobby, free downloads of games each month, and exclusive deals from Nintendo. Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will also be able to access the Classic Game Selection service, which contains retro games from Nintendo's older consoles.
The service will cost $3.99 per month, $7.99 per quarter, or $19.99 per year, but online multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch will remain free until it is officially launched. Nintendo is expected to reveal more details about Nintendo Switch Online as the launch date draws near.
Will Nintendo Switch Online Make The Hybrid Console More Popular?
Nintendo Switch Online will bring a whole new dimension to the massively popular hybrid console, which may further boost sales.
Nintendo Switch sales have already beaten Nintendo Wii U lifetime sales in less than a year, with 7.2 million units sold in the October to December 2017 period. As of Dec. 31, about 14.86 million Nintendo Switch units have been sold, compared to 13.56 million Nintendo Wii U units sold over its roughly five-year life.
The popularity of the hybrid console has now attracted more publishers and developers to create more Nintendo Switch games, despite the fact that it is less powerful than the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. With Nintendo Switch Online coming in several months, titles with heavy online multiplayer components may soon find their way to the Nintendo Switch.