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Switch Online: the complete tour and our impressions of the new Nintendo service

the rates

Individual subscription

If you want to play online Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 or Diablo III, it is now essential to subscribe to a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The service offers three rates: 30 days for € 3.99, 90 days for € 7.99 and finally 365 days for € 19.99. A period of 7 days is offered to all new users and it is possible to cancel the subscription at the end of this period in the settings of the eShop. Note that once you have taken advantage of the trial offer, it is no longer possible to enjoy it and you must then subscribe. By default, the automatic renewal of the subscription is activated for an identical period, ie if you register for a month, you will be debited each month from € 3.99. In the case of an account that is linked to a person under the age of 18, the extension is not activated for security reasons, but as we shall see, this may give rise to concerns about the backups in the database. cloud.

The family group in detail

The family group is a new feature that allows you to group up to 8 accounts in the same "family". Note that these are accounts and not consoles and it is possible for members to live wherever they want. There is also a special rate for a family group available and for € 34.99 you can subscribe for 12 months. For example, the members of the group can all enjoy the online game, with of course some limitations.

No, if you are part of a family group, you can not play the same game at the same time. For example, if one of the members has Mario Kart, another member can not play this game at the same time. However, if both members own the game (in a cartridge or in dematerialized form), they can play online together or separately. Game sharing is not allowed and Nintendo agrees with how Sony handles the concept of the main console with this system. Despite this limitation, this formula is especially interesting because it is less expensive than two individual subscriptions. Because you have two consoles, the price of the family group is cheaper than that of the individual.

Play online

Main feature of this new service, the online game makes subscription mandatory for most games with an online mode. We still have to notice the games Free-to-Play such Fortnite or Warframe serve as exceptions and online gambling is possible even without a subscription. Here is the link for the list of games that are compatible with the Nintendo Switch Online service.

NES games included

In addition to the online game, the subscription gives access to download NES games via an application to download from the eShop. Instead of complete, this application offers to play alone or with two players and even to make games online. With visual options you can choose between a 4: 3 screen, perfect pixel or add a cathode filter for an original experience. Another good idea of ​​the application: the ability to save the game at any time and resume it later; each has four separate backup locations. The list of available games already contains titles like Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, Double Dragon, Donkey Kong and other Nintendo classics. The list is expanded over time and three games have to be added every month.

Question: What happens when I am offline?
Note that the application even works in airplane mode for one week: after 7 days you must connect the console to check if your subscription is still in progress.

Back up in the cloud

Other service offered with the subscription, the copy in the cloud of your game saves. The option is automatically activated by default, it is of course possible to change the setting for each game or your entire library. The service is not compatible with all games and unfortunately the Nintendo list is already outdated. The builder mentioned Dead cellsfor example, but it is indeed possible to copy his data to the cloud. It is therefore important to check for each game compatibility or not from the eShop or the official Nintendo website.

Question: What happens to my backups as soon as my subscription is interrupted?
Logically speaking, stopping the subscription that you no longer have access to copies the backups to the cloud. So the question is what happens when you subscribe again after a period of inactivity: are the backups still present? At this moment we have not been able to check ourselves as we are still in the trial period of 7 days. This article will be updated as soon as we can see it ourselves.

The smartphone app

This is by far the most ridiculous aspect of the online service, you have to install the Nintendo Switch Online application to chat with other players. Launched in parallel with Splatoon 2, the application also provides information about games, but its primary function is voice chat. Except that only 5 games are currently compatible: Mario Aces Tennis, ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and the application of NES games related to the subscription. Once your Nintendo account is connected to the application, you can connect your hands-free kit (or any other microphone headset) to discuss.

This use is not only crazy, but has a big exception, because it is very possible to use voice chat in Fortnite … just by plugging a headset into the socket of his console. The restriction is absolutely not related to the hardware, but to a choice of Nintendo, difficult to understand.

Exclusive offers

The last part of the subscription service, Nintendo has long promised deals designed specifically for subscribers. At the launch we only have two offers with the possibility to receive free items to equip in Splatoon 2 and the possibility to buy NES controllers. Presented during a Nintendo Direct, this is a pair of controllers whose appearance is similar to that of the iconic controllers, whose purchase is indeed reserved for subscribers. Sold for € 59.99, these controllers only work with the NES game application, another surprising choice from the manufacturer.


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