- The Virtual Console was a collection of retro games from other platforms
- It’s function is now a part of the Nintendo Switch Online service
- The Nintendo Switch Online service is out in September
Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aime has said that the Nintendo Switch Online service is the company’s successor to the Virtual Console. On previous consoles, the Virtual Console was Nintendo’s way of bringing games from older systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy Advancein an unaltered state. With Nintendo Switch Online, the company’s yet to be launched online multiplayer service that is bundled with monthly games, Fils-Aime stated that its catalogue of older games will expand with time though he did not elaborate on details such as how often it would be refreshed or which consoles it would include games from.
“The Virtual Console successor is Nintendo Switch Online, right? With the mentality that says we’re going to be offering a slate of games, and it’s a slate that’s going to increase over time,” Fils-Aime said in conversation with IGN at E3 2018. “For many of these games, there’s going to be additional online capability provided in those games. That’s the vision we have for how to best bring our legacy content to Nintendo Switch.”
When Nintendo Switch Online launches in September it brings with it cloud saves and online multiplayer. Right now, multiplayer is free for all Nintendo Switch players though he believes that turning it to a paid option will not deter players. Reason being, he believes the value offered by the Nintendo Switch Online service coupled with its low price point would be enough to drive subscriptions.
“We do [believe people will subscribe], and I say that because what we’ve laid out is a proposition where, yes you get the competitive play accessibility, you also get the cloud save, and you get access to the legacy content,” Fils-Aime said.. “That’s a fantastic proposition for $20 a year. We believe that it’s not going to be any type of issue for us. In fact, it’s going to enable us to continue offering a varied slate of opportunities from an online experience standpoint.”
Previously, Nintendo officially revealed its Nintendo Switch Online paid service for the hybrid console. With a September 2018 release date, the service includes features such as online play for games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that was announced at E3 2018. In addition to this, Nintendo touts cloud saves and access to games from its NES console as other advantages of using the service.
Also, pricing seems to be inline with what was announced prior. A month’s subscription for Nintendo Switch Online will cost US $3.99 (about Rs. 250), three months for $7.99 (about Rs. 500), and a full year for $19.99 (about Rs. 1,280). In Japan, the prices for those periods are JPY 300 (about Rs. 170), JPY 800 (about Rs. 460), and JPY 2,400 (about Rs. 1,380), respectively. There is a family plan as well, allowing up eight people to use Nintendo Switch Online for $34.99 for the year (about Rs. 2,350).
“Starting May 15, 2018, it will be possible to create a Nintendo Account Family Group via your Nintendo Account settings. Up to eight Nintendo Accounts (including child accounts) can be linked as a family group,” the FAQ on Nintendo’s site reads.