You must pay to play Nintendo Switch online from next week

Nintendo will finally launch its paid online service next week, on 19th September.

That means you will need a subscription to play the online portion of games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Arms and Mario Tennis Aces, as well as upcoming exclusives Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

A year’s subscription costs £18/€20 per user account, or £31.50/€35 for eight accounts if you set up a family group membership.

You’ll also gain acces to a Virtual Console-style library of NES games with added online play, and be able to back up save data to the cloud.

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You won’t be able to back up all game save data, however – Nintendo will block this feature on some of its biggest games. Why? To “ensure fair play”, it said at the weekend, and stop people exploiting saves to cheat. Huh. Game saves which will be staying local include Pokémon and Splatoon 2. Best not lose your Switch.

Nintendo has given Switch owners since the start of the system’s launch to prepare for this change – the first time it has ever charged for people to play online on a Nintendo platform, ever. Are you ready?

Further details on the subscription will be given tomorrow, as part of Nintendo’s rescheduled Direct.

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