Switch Paid Online – Worth the Money?

The new details for Switch’s online service have been revealed, but from what we’ve been told, is it going to be worth the $20 a year?

Let’s take a look at what you get in the package:

Cloud Save Storage
NES Games (20 at Launch with more being released regularly)
Ability to play online in games such as Splatoon 2, Mario Kart, Arms etc
Special offers.
Improved features through party app.

Now, the first thing I’m going to mention is the ability to play online with others. This is something that Nintendo has been providing for free since the Switch launched, it was always going to be inevitable that the service would go to a paid model eventually, but it still cuts that it’s happening, but this element for me is the one that is lacking… I can see the faces now. Let me explain, you’re paying to play online, however for me there is a distinct lack of games which feature a true online experience. You look at the ones mentioned above, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8D, Arms, these are the only ones that will give you a true online experience of playing with others, I’m not counting local play in this mainly due to the fact that that is a connection between 2 Switchs.

The lack of games for online play is worrying, and if you’re going to have to pay up for it, then there really isn’t going to be much there for you to use and get your monies worth from. This is why I’m hopeful in the lead up to and from E3, as I’m hoping that more details or more games are going to be announced which are going to make the online subscription worthwhile. We already know about Smash Bro’s which will more than likely have an online battle mode, but there really needs to be more to give people a reason to play online.

Next up is Cloud Save storage… Finally! This does make it worth the while, it’s finally nice to know that when this launches, if something goes wrong with my Switch then I can upload my saves to the Cloud, get it sorted and redownload everything without having to start the game again.

NES Games being included in the subscription is a nice touch and the announcement showing that there is going to be no Virtual Console on Switch shows that they are trying to integrate this with the paid subscription. There will be 20 games at launch, 10 of which we already know, and then there are going to be more regularly added to the service with other systems being included too, although we only know that SNES will be introduced later, but it would be nice to see some Gamecube and N64 games added there. An added extra to this is that you’re going to be able to play online with these NES games, which is a nice little feature, will be nice having a go against someone when playing Dr. Mario. Can’t… Remove… Theme… From… Head…

Special offers are a blank canvas at the moment, we don’t know what the offers are going to be, whether it’s discounts on 1st party games, whether it’s going to be random, or whether 1st party games will be included in the discounts at all. Hopefully, there will be finer details further down the line, I can imagine that towards the end of August will give us some finer details in preparation for launch.

Last but not least, new features and updates for the party app… This is one of the irritants that I have with the Party app, this should be included natively with the Switch and not have to rely on loads of tangling wires around me from my phone to the Switch. If the app has to be here, then we should at least be given an option of whether or not I use the app on my phone or natively on my Switch. But we’re not given that option because no one in their right mind would pick the app over party chatting natively.

Also, the app only currently works with Splatoon 2, which is a bit of a pain, the app should be open regardless of what I’m playing, I shouldn’t have to be in a specific game, and my friends also be in that same game for us to be able to chat, we should be able to open a chat lobby and speak to each other regardless of what we’re playing. This is something that I hope they fix because it’s a terrible system as it stands and one that is not worth adding to this service. Because as it currently stands, it offers no value to the subscription.

One surprising addition to the details was the addition of a family subscription where you can link up to 8 Switch’s to 1 subscription. Ideal! for $35 dollars, 8 of you can enjoy the freedoms of the subscription for just a little over $4. Even if 2 of you share the subscription that’s $17.50 each, saving around $2, so this does offer value for money in that sense.

Does the service offer value for money? At the moment there is a lot of work that needs to be done, more games need to be introduced with online play, I don’t want to have to pay for this service if all I’m getting is Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8D and maybe Smash later in the year, to play with. I want to see the Switch get games like Call of Duty, maybe a form of Battlefield, this is what would make the service worth paying for, knowing that there are games to play, and this is why I said above about from now to E3 when more announcements are made are going to be crucial for Nintendo in swaying people to pay for this service.

I will more than likely pay for the service, I want to play the games I have and can play online, but I want to see more for my money, because at the moment to me, it’s a little threadbare in terms of the games I’m playing or can utilise the online service with.

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