Let's discuss the Nintendo Switch Online Service

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#1 Edited by Visnes (31 posts) -

Free trial till fall 2017, then we'll have to pay for it. What do we get?

Online lobby and voice chat

Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device. A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.

Monthly game download

Subscribers will get to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System™ (Super NES) game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month.

Exclusive deals

Special offers for subscribers may include discounts on select digital games and content.

No price yet, but be able to play one NES or SNES game for a whole month every month is an amazing deal! /s

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#2 Posted by paulmako (1685 posts) -

I'm not sure there's much to talk about that hasn't already been said in the main switch thread. At least there won't be until we get new info.

Until then it will be repeating 'I preferred it when Nintendo didn't charge to go online' and 'they should let you keep the Virtual Console games.'

The app thing does sound somewhat interesting if they integrate it well. Although I think at this point if people are doing it through a smart phone they would just use Discord.

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#3 Posted by Cameron (864 posts) -

I just hope they don't charge $50-$60. I pay for Xbox Live and PS+ because of the free games every month. I could download every NES and SNES game ever made for free and play them on about six different devices I already own, many of which are portable.

Otherwise, I just don't think Nintendo puts out enough multiplayer focused games to get a lot of people to pay for it. I'm sure the die-hard Mario Kart and Smash Brothers people would pay, but how many of those people are there?

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#4 Edited by OurSin_360 (4450 posts) -

Paying monthly to play nes games? No in game chat but an app for your phone? So basically paying to talk on your phone you already pay to talk on?

Nintendo should just continue to ignore online lol

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#5 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (5947 posts) -

I don't even care how much less their online service costs, if I'm getting between 2 and 5 PS4 games every month, and Nintendo can't even bare to let me keep one NES or SNES game every month, then I'll NEVER buy a switch out of general principle.

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#6 Edited by BigSocrates (1411 posts) -

It is a NES game or an SNES game. Not both. Let's not go crazy!

Speaking of crazy, needing to use your phone to access the online services is nuts. As is the VC rental thing.

Nintendo is acting like A) it has no competition or B) it is the dominant force in the market.

Not to mention the service doesn't launch with Switch, there is no Miiverse, and there are not a ton of multiplayer games announced yet.

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#7 Posted by cmblasko (2384 posts) -

The only thing I like is the phone integration which every service should do. Besides that this is laughably bad.

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#8 Edited by Spacefish (243 posts) -

This is the main thing that sours me on the system, paying for basic online multiplayer is a scam proliferated by Microsoft. They tried that shit with the PC and thankfully it didn't take, when it happened with PSN I was pissed but nobody cared, "free" games everyone said, it'll improve the service.... the free games got progressively worse, anyone could see that happening, download speeds are still bad, this is after a price hike and now we have this dumb precedent. The best service is steam, it's free.

I can only force myself to pay one ransom fee for multiplayer. Nintendo has no third party multiplayer games to speak of, they have a history of awful online experiences and it's destined to be a secondary console, everyone is already heavily invested in either PSN or XBL. I can't justify paying monthly for another subscription to maybe play 4 or 5 online games over the lifetime of this system. For me, this effectively makes this an offline only system, forget about the small multiplayer quirks that modern games often have, the odd multiplayer focused Nintendo game is also off my radar.

consoles already struggle to justify their existence as the PC moves to the living room, this only accelerates the inevitable takeover.

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#9 Posted by Teddie (1491 posts) -

My big problem with it is: how many games will actually have online play worth subscribing? And subscribing annually, no less. Splatoon and Mario Kart are the obvious tentpoles that we've seen, but PS4/Xbox have 3rd parties constantly producing games with (big) multiplayer components, and I don't even bother subscribing to them for the online play.

It's good that they're at least launching it in a free trial state, because they'll probably need to do a lot of convincing this year, and a free NES game for a month isn't gonna cut it.

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#10 Posted by ripelivejam (10898 posts) -

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

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#11 Edited by Teddie (1491 posts) -

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

Comparing Nintendo's offerings to MS and Sony's is exactly why people are miffed. You're not doing yourself any favours with that argument.

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#12 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1502 posts) -

I stopped paying for Gold and PS+ last year because it wasn't really worth the cost since I was playing so much Overwatch on PC instead.

If Nintendo wants to charge for their thing that's fine. Servers aren't cheap, but they better be reliable.

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#14 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (565 posts) -

I can only see this free trial as their out if their online services are laughed out of the room like always so they can back out of it or use the fact that they haven't announced pricing and just make it some super low price because otherwise Nintendo just killed all their system sellers with this one move.

Splatoon 2, Mario Kart, and a rumored Smash port all in the first year could have really improved their chances but with paid online those games are all of a sudden worthless.

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#15 Posted by Justin258 (14373 posts) -

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

At this point, though, MS and Sony pretty much have online figured out. I mean, there are always going to be problems, but the template for how console online is supposed to be done is there. Microsoft made it, Sony kinda fumbled for a little while but then they came back and improved on it, and now both Microsoft's and Sony's online console services are comparable and they come across as a fairly good deal. Nintendo hasn't even figured out that your online purchases should be tied to an account and not a console - if I buy Earthbound on my Wii U and someone breaks into my house and steals my Wii U, I have to buy a new Wii U and a new copy of Earthbound. If someone steals my PS4, I just buy a new one and then sign into my PSN account and re-download everything.

The features that Nintendo have talked about sound like half-steps taken begrudgingly, and they're sure to put their own unnecessarily difficult and obtuse Nintendo spin on it all.

We don't have the full details yet so I'll hold off on a final judgement until people actually get their hands on the Nintendo Switch and start talking about the pros and cons of everything, including the online. But I wouldn't hold my breath on Nintendo's online services being worth the asking price.

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#16 Edited by Rejizzle (704 posts) -

With what little information we have it certainly seems baffling. Nintendo's current online service lags behind their competitors, so it takes some serious guts to start charging for it. While there are very few NES or SNES games I would play for more than a month at a time, their decision to make their games a timed exclusive is... less than optimal. Nintendo has a lot to prove when it comes to online connectivity.

@cameron said:

I just hope they don't charge $50-$60. I pay for Xbox Live and PS+ because of the free games every month. I could download every NES and SNES game ever made for free and play them on about six different devices I already own, many of which are portable.

I see where this argument comes from, but there are already so many issues that saying "but it's already so easy to steal!" shouldn't really be the issue. Still, I understand this in the sense that it would be nice to see a balance between new and old games for free with this service, especially if they didn't disappear after a month.

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#17 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1234 posts) -

I hope they make it so that digital game purchases are tied to your account rather than the device.

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#18 Posted by Based (150 posts) -

I just find this so weird.

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#20 Posted by cikame (1849 posts) -

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

The difference is MS had good systems in place on the 360, you could link up with all your friends to chat in a party and invite everyone easily into multiplayer games, there were voice clips, video and picture messages and the servers were reliable and quick, it was a service worth paying for (depending on your usage). Sony definately couldn't have charged on PS3 as the systems on that console seemed like an afterthought, though they've gotten there with the PS4, Nintendo however, as most agree, are extremely far behind when it comes to internet services, i don't even have a smart device so if that stuff isn't built into the console front end i'm just boned? The app is free but limited, so they're planning on charging for a better version of that too at some point? I don't know, i just need the ability to talk to friends and invite them into games, but they haven't mentioned any kind of microphone for this thing have they? If everything else around the service isn't useful to me then i wouldn't be happy paying for it, i'm not even sure this thing has an ethernet port.

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#21 Posted by BojackHorseman (691 posts) -

It's Nintendo, so you know it'll be bad.

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#22 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1502 posts) -

It's Nintendo, so you know it'll be bad.

What if they partner with Smuckers and AWS? :-p

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#23 Edited by DharmaBum (1703 posts) -

Something tells me simple tasks like sending an invite or joining a friend's game are going to be a clunky mess.

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#24 Posted by Zevvion (5217 posts) -

Sounds bad. Is this an option or is downloading games only possible with this paid service?

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#25 Posted by Cameron (864 posts) -

@rejizzle: You're right, I was just trying to say that SNES and NES games have no value, to me at least. I already own any old Nintendo games I'd actually want to play, and could emulate them if I wanted to play on a portable device. In comparison to PS+ or Games with Gold, where I'm getting at least a few modern games every month that I don't own, it looks like a very weak offering.

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#26 Posted by Rejizzle (704 posts) -

@cameron: Yeah, I think we are in complete agreement with each other. Just that a forum post doesn't convey the whole message. Too bad, I was getting pretty hyped going into this thing.

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#27 Posted by ajamafalous (13397 posts) -

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

What Nintendo is describing is an objectively terrible offering by comparison.

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#28 Edited by mems1224 (1616 posts) -

@ripelivejam: Sony never offloaded all PSN functionality to a smartphone app

Online
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#29 Edited by FrostyRyan (1989 posts) -

Bafflingly terrible. You pay for the service and then pay separately for the phone app which the friends list and voice chat will be on...

You get to rent a game every month....a NES or SNES game......not keep...rent. Good lord nintendo what are you doing.

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#30 Posted by FrostyRyan (1989 posts) -

@ripelivejam said:

so people like it when Sony and Microsoft do this stuff?

i remember there being some outrage at Sony but it quickly went away. But then Sony was never the pariah Nintendo is.

What Nintendo is describing is an objectively terrible offering by comparison.

I agree. Sony and Microsoft have actual friends lists and voice chat right there on the console. You know, the logical thing to do. Plus both services just give you multiple free games every month.

What Nintendo is doing is not this. It's terrible.

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#31 Edited by selbie (2449 posts) -

I won't be buying into their online until I know they can do a proper online service and not some padded room kindergarten shit that is highly restrictive with interaction and networking. Even then I'll barely use it because of the limited number of online games I would play on a Nintendo system vs other consoles and PC.

I don't see anything wrong with a separate mobile/tablet app so long as the payment for online access is tied to one Nintendo account and not per device. Not that I would use it considering Discord does everything you need for comms anyway.

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#32 Posted by APDLS (53 posts) -

I'm disappointed but also not giving Sony a free pass on this either. Their PS3 service was worse than the Wii U's, and they still charged for online on the PS4, while drastically reducing the benefits of PS+, which I no longer pay for because it's not like I use it for multiplayer. All of these should be free, we can only hope that Nintendo's service is cheaper.

Online
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#33 Posted by Visnes (31 posts) -
@apdls said:

All of these should be free

Says the guy who has no idea how much running servers cost.

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#34 Posted by APDLS (53 posts) -

@visnes: I mean, you are right, but there already exists a better free alternative. Consoles are competing with the PC now.

Of course my main point was more about Nintendo just joining a depressing industry standard.

Online
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#35 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (2479 posts) -

Diehard day one buying Nintendo fans deserve better. This whole thing just smacks of NoJ higher ups thinking they know how this stuff should run. There is no way that they can be completely blind to how modern subscription services look, especially with Sony in Japan. Say what you want about PS+ offerings recently, but at least it isn't 'Here's a 25 year old game to rent for a month for your continued support.' Obviously the service is yet to actually launch so maybe they'll have a great stable online network, but the 'feature' list alone is concerning.

I have no idea how their voice chat is going to work. This is what Reggie is saying (http://nintendoeverything.com/reggie-talks-switch-online-service-info-teased-on-rebuying-classic-games-supply-concerns-3ds-here-to-stay/).

'Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.'

So will the app sync up with the game you're playing and provide both voice chat and game audio through the same set of headphones? Because at that point it seems like they're putting in too much work to get around not just doing voice chat through the system itself. If not, then why would you ever use their voice chat when services like Skype and Discord exist?

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#36 Posted by Spacefish (243 posts) -

@visnes said:
@apdls said:

All of these should be free

Says the guy who has no idea how much running servers cost.

Paying for servers is part of the operational cost of running an online ecosystem, you make money by taking a cut of every item you sell. Nobody in their right mind pays for the "privilege" of purchasing a digital game, what else do you pay for? multiplayer servers right? Oh lets see, I go to buy an online only game like Overwatch oh look its £40 (seems to be £55 on psn wtf) the same price as a single player only game except whats this? I cant play 95% of the game unless I pay for servers, weird. Now it's true I don't know the exact cost of running servers but I guaran fucking T you my total playtime server cost is nowhere near the 8 -12+ pound they make off a £40 game. This doesn't even get into the fact that you have no idea if half the games even use dedicated servers, how is it acceptable that a massive first party Sony title like uncharted uses P2P. If you are paying for voice chat and party systems then sure, ignoring the fact that very good, free alternatives exist on every other modern electronic device you have a small point, paying £5.50 a month or £40 a year for that is highway robbery.

I'm not even going to bring up steam.

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#37 Edited by DharmaBum (1703 posts) -

how is it acceptable that a massive first party Sony title like uncharted uses P2P.

Because nobody takes that game's multiplayer seriously and thus the developer can get away with it.

Edit: I'd pose the same question to a game like Destiny.

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#38 Posted by Spacefish (243 posts) -

how is it acceptable that a massive first party Sony title like uncharted uses P2P.

Because nobody takes that game's multiplayer seriously and thus the developer can get away with it.

Edit: I'd pose the same question to a game like Destiny.

What makes the uncharted example weird to me is all your money goes to Sony, you pay the same company for the console, the game and then you pay them a premium for good quality online multiplayer and they give you p2p.

Yh, Destiny is actually worse because more than 10 people play it and its a real multiplayer game. This makes me wonder if Sony even provides free servers for third party games.

Oh shit, apparently the rocket league devs had to pay for their own servers on PSN, it really is a scam.

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#39 Posted by LosDub (251 posts) -

bet Nintendo Switch will be like Nvidia Shield in that most if not all big games will be streamed to screen

Hell its really just the updated version of what the new Nvidia Shield and Shield Tablet was to be wit Nintendo branded on it imo

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#40 Posted by Vasta_Narada (617 posts) -

What I want to know is whether the phone app features will be exclusive to the phone app or integrated into the system's feature set by the time the trial period ends. For now, though, the Switch online services sound like something I pay for by the month when I get the itch to play Splatoon or some such.

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#41 Posted by Colonel_Pockets (1012 posts) -

If I ever buy a Switch (which is in question right now due to the amount of questions that I need answered by them), I won't pay for the online service. This is just terrible. How many games made by Nintendo are actually played online? Splatoon, Smash and Mario Kart..... I think that's it. Then there is Nintendo's track record with online services. It's not looking good to me.

With every new piece of information that comes out about this console, the less appealing it seems. The pricing on this thing seems ridiculous. This is assuming that they will charge $50-$60 a year for this service.

Avatar image for haz
#42 Edited by Haz (361 posts) -

I won't judge Nintendo yet, I'll wait and see what they have to offer. They've been to vague so far, so although I'm skeptical about them being able to deliver a solid experience -- I'll reserve my judgment until they reveal all the details, though based off of what we do know I like some stuff and I remain skeptical about other details.

I will say that I don't mind paying a subscription to play games online since I already do that with XBL/PSN, but I hope the perks of the service add a lot of value. The free NES/SNES game per month sounds great. Yeah, it's not free forever (to be honest it's not that way on XBL/PSN either), but I think they can make it unique -- as in, using that month to celebrate a series during it's 30th anniversary, like Street Fighter. To me I'm thinking of it as a kind of gaming book club, especially if they have some good social integration around it.

Using an app for voice chat doesn't bother me much since I barely talk during online games. The only time I ever do is in a private party with friends. So, while it's a relatively non-issue for me, I don't think it should be limited to an app. If the app is an add-on to doing the same on the console itself then that's great, give people options.

In any case, I'm expecting a Nintendo Direct at some point to detail their online services plan -- I'm more surprised that it isn't ready yet and won't fully launch by March 3rd. It'd be cool if MK8 Deluxe or Splatoon 2 could take advantage of the feature set on their launch days.

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