During a recent investor Q&A, Kimishima laid out Nintendo’s ambitions for the service. He said, “We view the online service as one component of our efforts to diversity how our games are played and to get people to play more of our games. That is why we want to apply substantial resources to the online service, with the thinking that we will devote our energies to making this a for-pay service.”
Regarding how Nintendo plans to popularise the Switch’s online membership, Kimishima teased that Nintendo will offer “products” that gamers hopefully find appealing. “It is less about the mechanism and more a question of what kinds of products we can offer, and the spread of the service will depend on whether consumers want what we offer.”
“Please give us a bit more time to announce more details about the service. I think that announcement will convey to you how we plan to popularise the service.”
Takahashi went on to tease that Nintendo’s upcoming announcement about the Switch’s online service will be some big news. “We have some ideas about how to make Nintendo Switch Online appealing when it becomes a for-pay service, so I think our next announcement will be worth the wait,” Takahashi said.
By comparison, the paid memberships for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offer things like free games every month and discounts, among other benefits.
Online play for Switch games has been free since the system launched in March 2017. Initially, Nintendo planned to launch its paid service in Fall 2017, but it was delayed to 2018. At the time, Nintendo announced it would offer memberships for 1 month ($4), 3 months ($8), and 12 months ($20), but it remains to be seen if those prices are still accurate. By comparison, Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus cost $60/year.
What are you hoping to see from the Nintendo Switch Online membership? Let us know in the comments below!