One of the biggest surprises of the Nintendo Switch reveal was that the device would feature a paid online service, a first for Nintendo. Now we have some idea of just how much that will cost — and it’s relatively inexpensive.
In an interview with Japanese newspaper The Nikkei, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said that the service would cost between 2,000 yen and 3,000 yen per year, putting it in the $17–$26 range. Though details are light at the moment, the service will cover multiplayer gaming as well as offering users a free classic game download each month.
Depending on what the final North American price ends up being, the Switch’s online service will likely be around half of its biggest competition; both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus come with an annual fee of $59.99. That said, given Nintendo’s history with online gaming — and the fact that the Switch will relegate features like voice chat to a separate smartphone app — it’s unlikely the console’s online offering will be as robust as its competition.
"With paid [services], we will be able to fully commit to customers," Kimishima says of the decision to offer a paid online service. The Switch will be launching on March 3rd for $299.