http://cdn02.nintendo-europe.com/media/images/10_share_images/SI_GenericNintendo.jpg
When details of the Switch were vague I noted that if Nintendo offered a Netflix like service where you could pay them a fee and play as many of their old titles as you wanted, that would be pretty awesome. As the Switch was closer to launch Nintendo talked about it's new online service for the system and they said that it would eventually be a paid system where one benefit was a free retro title that was timeboxed to only be playable for a month. Most fans didn't love this idea and Nintendo seems to changing course, according to a new Kotaku article.

"Fans were frustrated by what they saw as yet another oh-so-Nintendo move. As Kotaku commenter Nicholas Payne wrote: “Yeah, I’ve gotta hope that ‘for a month’ thing is just Nintendo being characteristically bad at explaining things, because if the best they can offer is putting up a single 20-30 year old game a month to try and then give back... yeesh.” Others wrote editorials begging Nintendo to change course. The reactions were unanimously negative.

Then, Nintendo did something unusual: it listened. Last night’s messaging was typically Nintendo, requiring a Kotaku request for clarification to find out exactly what was happening, but the news was widely cheered. Not only will the Switch’s online service be significantly cheaper than its competitors, at $20/year, it will give subscribers access to a library of classic games, still enhanced with online play. No more monthly releases. You won’t have to worry about time running out. As long as you maintain your subscription, you can play as much as you’d like.
"

$20 a year for online play seems like a great deal too compared to the $60 XBox gold and PSPlus subscription. So far the games you get aren't cutting edge but for $20 that might not be a big deal at all.

http://kotaku.com/switchs-netflix-like-classic-game-service-is-a-rare-exa-1795766912

Star unselected
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/07/2017 at 02:41pm
This makes the Switch even more compelling. I'm impressed.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/07/2017 at 04:03pm
Yep, I agree. I'm not sure when i'm picking one up yet(maybe next year). Are you going to get on Travis and if so do you know when?

I know we both had aspirations to get a Wii U but... well I didn't get one but i'd still like one. Kinda surprised Nintendo never marked them down all that much.
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/07/2017 at 07:44pm
I'm planning to get one in the same way I was planning to get a Wii U (and still might). I'm just in no rush for it. This does make me want one more, though.
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/08/2017 at 12:35am
This sounds cool, actually, because it's Nintendo! There are tons of Nintendo games I'd love to play again, if not for the first time. If I had a Switch, or if that service was available for the Wii U, I'd definitely look into it. As of yet, I have BotW on the Wii U, which has greatly reduced my desire to get a Switch. I might get one eventually.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/08/2017 at 04:58am
> I'm planning to get one in the same way I was planning to get a Wii U (and still might). I'm just in no rush for it. This does make me want one more, though.

Yeah same here. I think the likeliness of me getting one is higher than the Wii U. That said I might get a Wii U used if the price and timing are right. That said, i'd prob never get around to playing much of it.
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/08/2017 at 05:50am
Oh and don't forget there is now the Switch XL! :) I still need to get another 3DSXL, since the two in the house are lost. Actually, I might prefer a "New 2DS XL," since it does fold and I really don't care about the 3D.

Also, in related news for consoles, a new slim PS4 is coming out and seems comparatively priced. I still haven't gotten one yet, but I already have at least one reason to (FFXV, which I'd like to see on Steam).
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/08/2017 at 05:56pm
Greg I'm not sure if you're being serious about the Switch XL, text doesn't convey tone very well, but the only mention I can see about it is an April Fools thing. The smilemoticon might mean you're joking but you're a smiley kinda guy :D
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/08/2017 at 07:13pm
Oh, I just remember seeing something about it. I didn't know it was an April Fools thing.
7ae537b6b7b7b09e68f52e76cdb8f0727f5cb270 full Will_Ball wrote on 06/08/2017 at 07:24pm
Awesome news!
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/09/2017 at 05:04am
Yeah there is just one Switch for now but Nintendo will release a ton of different versions for sure. XL is right around the corner smile
83129b8368dc8a6e0a086346d52d45fd08c4576d full scrypt wrote on 06/16/2017 at 02:26am
I'll be the skeptic and say that this doesn't sound all that interesting. $20 annual fee for online services is super cheap, but it appears that, really, you get what you pay for. I really don't like the idea of a service tied to an app on your smart phone. Something like that should be included in the console, not a third party peripheral. The actual gaming being done online is happening over wi-fi. Why can't you build voice chat into that infrastructure. Everyone that offers online gaming has a voice chat offering built into the service. The whole thing sounds like a solution to a non-problem.

Secondly, the idea of an entire library of classic games from Nintendo sounds awesome, but so far it's only 3 games. 3 NES games, at that. SNES games are being considered, but aren't in the pipeline. Online play for NES games is almost completely uninteresting to me, with the exception of maybe Blades of Steel or Double Dribble. Probably Jackal. There are great multiplayer sessions to be had, sure, but those games may never become available. Certainly not a selling point of an online service.

One thing they should do, if they don't want to carry the burden of servicing an online chat infrastructure, is allow the download of apps like Discord to the Switch system, maybe even modified to streamline with the Switch's UI. Discord also already has a phone app, so that's already taken care of.

So, in sum, $20 annually really only gets you bare-bones online gaming, and a few really, really old games that you've probably already purchased 3 or 4 times already, which could grow into more games that you may or may not like (which you've also probably already purchased before). I realize $20 is cheap, but you're not getting near the experience of the other $60 services, so it's a bad comparison. It's like buying a phone charger from a plastic tub at 7-11. It's cheap for a reason.
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/16/2017 at 04:25am
@Scrypt, they're apparently doing voice chat via an app on a phone/mobile device. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/e3-2017-nintendo-talks-about-switchs-clunky-voice-/1100-6451004/

I think Nintendo has a ton of nostalgic value and I think this $20/year fee sounds like a good value. That is, of course at least hoping that the service would see many games from various console generations. It is also a bit of a gambit, because you may not want to play what they're offering one month or even more. It would also be nice to keep something for what you're paying, instead of being limited to a month to play a game, and then perhaps waiting for it to become available again.
83129b8368dc8a6e0a086346d52d45fd08c4576d full scrypt wrote on 06/16/2017 at 05:51am
GregoPeck, the voice chat tied to a phone is what I was talking about in my first paragraph. Nintendo is separating voice chat from the rest of the multiplayer infrastructure. The games will connect for multiplayer play over a wi-fi connection, but the phone app will likely be made to utilize a cellular service. Otherwise, why not include it into the base system? What problem is being solved by allocating chat to a mobile device? It can't be for gaming on the go, because the games will still need a wi-fi network to play multiplayer online, right? It just doesn't make sense to put chat features on a phone app, while not offering it at all via the main console. What if your phone is dead? What if you don't have a phone/applicable device?
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/16/2017 at 07:38am
I agree that it doesn't make much sense, that it's not built into the system like others. Either we talked about it here or I read about it somewhere else, hasn't Nintendo been purposely limiting chat features in order to provide a "family" friendly environment, free from trolls and such?
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/16/2017 at 05:19pm
Scrypt-- we have to assume they're planning a fairly robust retro library. We don't know for sure yet, but it would be panned hard if they don't.

I totally agree about voice chat though. It very well may be a family friendly move, since that's what they've cited for previous crippled services. This detaches things from the system entirely so they don't have to worry about parents not understanding the parental controls.

It's not a good reason, but it's a possible one.

I think of it like this: if there was a device that did nothing but play games from retro Nintendo systems and they charged a $20 subscription service to access it and play all those games for as long as you keep up your subscription, I'd think it was a good deal. It really depends on the library, though.

I do agree with you that it isn't a good comparison to the PSN and XBL services because they far outshine this model in online play and communication.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/16/2017 at 11:55pm
Nintendo has quite a ways to go to improve their online services. That said, not sure what more they'd need to do providing online play. Voice chat is good, but I don't care BUT I am far from a hardcore gamer. I'm not sure hardcore gamers are the audience for the Switch though. Maybe.

I like that the online is cheap but i'd rather it be free. You're right Scrypt, I do have a lot of classic games already but having more on your Switch isn't bad and I can see some people playing them again there or for the first time.
83129b8368dc8a6e0a086346d52d45fd08c4576d full scrypt wrote on 06/18/2017 at 04:21pm
I think of it like this: if there was a device that did nothing but play games from retro Nintendo systems and they charged a $20 subscription service to access it and play all those games for as long as you keep up your subscription, I'd think it was a good deal. It really depends on the library, though.

I don't disagree with that at all. That would be a fantastic deal, actually. I'd say that's far from what Nintendo is offering here, however, and to assume it will grow into that is putting the cart way before the horse. I don't mind the idea of supporting Nintendo for the sake of Nintendo, but talking about a retro subscription service, as Nintendo (as big as they are), and only talking about 3 games at launch? That's embarrassingly unimpressive, even if they do offer a new online multiplayer feature. And we do know for sure (at least according to the quote in the Kotaku article) that SNES games are under consideration, but not planned.

What I think happened: Nintendo saw how huge the demand was for the classic mini console, killed it before saturating the market, and are now deciding to offer classic games in a subscription package.

The more important aspect of a Nintendo Online Service will be how smoothly you can connect to other players and play games. I'm talking infrastructure stability, not just ease of use. Nintendo, in the past, has missed the mark in this respect (most of the time missing the entire target). This new service doesn't seem to be much different. Having a handful (give or take a dozen) of ancient games (multiplayer or no) tied into this service seems like an effort to sugar coat an ultimately bland offering.

Again, $20 for a service is a pittance, and it might be a good thing. I just hear you guys saying that this info of a classic game subscription makes the Switch more desirable, and I don't get that.
83129b8368dc8a6e0a086346d52d45fd08c4576d full scrypt wrote on 06/18/2017 at 04:23pm
Also, has the Switch not had any type of online service since launch? Like, a store or anything?
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/18/2017 at 04:51pm
Nobody is assuming anything, I don't think. I didn't run out and buy a Switch because of it. They've only mentioned three games, but they haven't mentioned much about it yet. There's still a world of stuff that's unknown-- they haven't launched it and have barely talked about it. It just seems like a cool feature that would add some value to the console if they do it right.
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/18/2017 at 04:54pm
And yes they have a store you can buy games from.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/18/2017 at 05:35pm
> I just hear you guys saying that this info of a classic game subscription makes the Switch more desirable, and I don't get that.

I still don't have a Switch and have zero plans to buy one right now. Originally I wrote this article because I've postulated Nintendo might end up at a subscription service and this does seem like a baby step in that direction.

I find the Switch about as desirable as I did when it launched. Well not quite, after I played one and Zelda I was less interested but at some point i'll get one but that's not for quite some time. I'm not too interested in jumping in when everyone else does and I haven't seen anything that I gotta have right now.
83129b8368dc8a6e0a086346d52d45fd08c4576d full scrypt wrote on 06/19/2017 at 12:00am
Travis: "This makes the Switch even more compelling. I'm impressed."
Jon: "Yep, I agree."
Travis: "we have to assume they're planning a fairly robust retro library.

I didn't say you would run out and get one now, just that you find this to be a significant value.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 06/19/2017 at 02:01am
Ha. Yeah I did say that.

Like it raised my like of the thing very incrementally. But honestly at this point I think it's back down to what it was. I'd honestly be fine picking up the Switch in a couple years. Or sooner. I'm not really aiming for anything in particular with it.

Now that new Wolfenstein game? Thinking of playing that on day one. I mean if I can, I have a kid now and that changes a lot.
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/19/2017 at 02:25am
Note, I rewrote this because the tone was not what I was going for, so apologies if you're seeing this twice. I was on mobile and wrote it quickly.

I think you're reading more meaning into that conversation than was intended. Yes it would be an added valueif they do it right. We still know next to nothing about it. On the surface, with what we know and what makes the most sense for Nintendo to do with it in he future, it would provide another incentive to buy the console. What I opine is the most likely scenario would provide value.

I mean even if it's just those three games, that's technically value! ;)

I said these things casually talking about enthusiasm for a potential feature for a console I might buy in five years, never intending to need to flesh it out. The quotes you cite are more about hope for the feature, since again, we know next to nothing about it yet.

It's something they could do well that would provide value. It's something they could really botch.

By the way I totally agree with you on the probable reasoning for it: "What I think happened: Nintendo saw how huge the demand was for the classic mini console, killed it before saturating the market, and are now deciding to offer classic games in a subscription package. "

I don't think we disagree on much here, I think we're kinda misinterpreting each other. I think I'm just more optimistic about it.
74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Travis wrote on 06/19/2017 at 02:30am
Jon, re: Wolfenstein.

YES. That's a day one for me probably.
E2c4cbdd34ed4b63bd34d20e4f5ce108cc7a42e5 full GregoPeck wrote on 06/19/2017 at 03:31am
I thought about getting a Switch at launch, but realized I only cared about BotW, so I bought that for the Wii U instead. The Switch looks like it's getting some interesting stuff, but now that I've played BotW (on the Wii U) I have even less interest in buying a Switch any time soon. I still don't have a PS4, either, but I'd like to get one eventually for the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games I'm missing out on.

re: Wolfenstein I may jump in on that. That to me was one of the top three things I most pulled out of E3. I might pre-order, but I still have some time to think about it.
7ae537b6b7b7b09e68f52e76cdb8f0727f5cb270 full Will_Ball wrote on 06/19/2017 at 06:08pm
BTW the classic games that are going to be part of the online service is not virtual console:

https://www.polygon.com/2017/6/2/15730702/nintendo-switch-virtual-console

I have a feeling that it will be a select few games, with a virtual console coming later. Hopefully the virtual console will be tied to the online subscription.

Overall this makes me less likely to pay for the online service.
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