Nintendo Switch's paid online service delayed, will remain free until 2018

Affordability and accessibility.

It's long been an unfortunate trend in the console industry to charge players an additional monthly fee in order to access online multiplayer services. While originally the lack of a price tag on online content was the big pull for the PlayStation, even that console would eventually give in to temptation, resulting in a market where gamers would have to pay for a subscription if they wanted to access multiplayer elements at all - that, or buy a PC.

When Nintendo announced last year that its upcoming Switch would also be requiring a monthly fee in order to play online, gamers everywhere bowed their heads in disappointment. What's Mario Kart without online play? Why purchase Mario Party if you can't even play with your friends without being in the same room?

Still, not all hope has been lost. While initially Nintendo stated that their official service would be free until Fall 2017, a recent announcement from the company has revealed a slight change in plans.

According to the official post from the company's website, the Switch's paid service will now be launching sometime in 2018. More importantly: it will only cost $3.99 USD per month.

Though still a frustrating ritual to go through, the standard monthly service for other consoles has been until now $9.99. That Nintendo would drop the price significantly is definitely a plus for the Switch, which earlier this year broke records for the company in becoming their fastest-selling console ever.

Features offered with the Switch's online service include:

  • Online Gameplay
  • Online Lobby & Voice Chat app
  • Classic Game Selection
  • Nintendo eShop Deals

While to many it will come across as an unnecessary money grab, the lowered price of the Switch's service is hopefully indicative of a model that is pushing towards affordability and accessibility, rather than just extended revenue for Nintendo.

For more information, follow Nintendo's official Twitter account to receive instant updates about their products, or visit the company's website.