In a recent management briefing, Nintendo announced an online subscription service that allows players to play with friends and access traditional games on Nintendo Switch hardware — creatively named Nintendo Switch Online — which has more than 32 million subscribers.
At the press conference, the company announced plans to “continue to improve and expand Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + expansion packs, and strive to provide customers with satisfactory services.”
Prior to this, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch Online + expansion pack-a new membership plan, including N64 and Genesis games and optional controllers. This expansion pack has all the benefits of a Nintendo Switch Online membership (such as online games, access to NES and Super NES game libraries, etc.), and allows members to play selected games such as Mario Kart 64 online, up to four players for the first time in history.
Nintendo also uses Nintendo Switch Online’s expansion pack to provide bonus content for its games. The most recent example is the paid Animal Crossing: New Horizons-Happy Home DLC. If purchased separately, this will cost £22.49/$24.99.
The price of the extended tier-£34.99/39.99 Euro/49.99 USD for a 12-month individual membership-has been criticized for being particularly expensive-especially when it does not have the benefits of other similar subscription services (such as PlayStation) Plus or Xbox Live Gold.
However, given that the company has attracted 32 million subscribers-6 million more than when we last heard the studio’s digital update last year, these criticisms may fall to our ears.