While the Nintendo Switch has had a colossal first year, one of its obvious shortcomings (aside from shipping with adequate internal memory) is the lack of an online infrastructure to allow for multiplayer games. Granted that didn't stop the likes of Splatoon 2 from beating sales expectations despite having a poorly pieced together multiplayer experience, but it appears that Nintendo may finally be taking this aspect of the Switch seriously. The company announced that the Nintendo Switch Online service will be available from September this year.
Nintendo Switch Online was originally planned for a spring 2017 launch. Due to its delay, playing online is free until its launch. When Nintendo Switch Online does go live, most games will require a subscription for online play.
In the US, a month's subscription 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. Nintendo will reveal the pricing for other regions closer to the launch.
Sadly this doesn't change the fact that you'll have to use Nintendo's smartphone app for voice chat and schedule play time with friends. A solution that's far from optimal.
In addition, the Switch subscription service will also grant the option to download titles from the NES and SNES generation. Nintendo has listed the likes of Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario as examples on its site. And while it had previously noted that these classic titles would disappear every month, Nintendo of America tweeted and clarified to Kotaku that they would now be available as long as the subscription lasts. Your Switch online subscription will also net you special offers in the Nintendo eShop, from time to time.
Considering that the Nintendo Switch is not available in India officially, it's safe to say that we won't see any local pricing or availability for the Nintendo Switch Online service either. So if you own a Nintendo Switch and are residing in India, you'd probably be restricted to online subscription codes for the service or Nintendo eShop credit via the likes of Amazon US.