At the Nintendo Switch event, aside from announcing when you can buy a Nintendo Switch and how much you’d be paying for it, Nintendo also revealed the Nintendo Switch Online Service.
Much like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live, you’ll need the Nintendo Switch Online Service to play multiplayer games online. Nintendo has also tacked on a host of value adds not too dissimilar to the free games available each month on PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live.
The service is available as a free trial until Fall 2017. The company has stated that the games granted for free are titles from the NES and SNES consoles, presumably playable via the Virtual Console — a retro console service launched with the Nintendo Wii back in 2006.
However it appears that subscribers lose access to that free game the next month.
"Subscribers will get to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo Entertainment System game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month," according to Nintendo's website.
This was later confirmed by Wired’s Chris Kohler.
“After a month, you can no longer PLAY the monthly Switch online classic unless you buy it,” he tweeted.
Compared to Sony and Microsoft services, which lets you keep the games as long as you’re subscribed, this essentially ensures they’re rentals until you buy them.
You’d think that Nintendo would double down on its digital presence post the abysmal performance of the Wii U, instead it chooses to give consumers less value than the competition for possibly the same amount of money.
We discuss everything we know about the Nintendo Switch on Transition, our new podcast on gaming and pop culture. You can subscribe to it via RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.