Nintendo has recently struck a goldmine with the Nintendo Switch, and that came by mixing modern video games practices with their own, and recently, they’ve added a despised common business tactic, paid online. While it’s easy to bash Nintendo’s decision, there’s some very good things about it. On the flip side though, just because it’s Nintendo doing something, you don’t have to blindly agree with it. So, to give a good balance, here are five good and bad things about Nintendo Switch online, starting with the negatives.
10. The Only Free Games with it are NES Games
Honestly, this is somewhat of a nitpick, but it stems from a larger problem, the fact that there’s no virtual console. It seemed like the subscription service was going to be the replacement for that, which would have been a great solution, except for the fact that with the Switch’s online service you’re only able to play NES games. While other systems may be added later on, there’s no evidence of that currently.
9. Cloud Saves Don’t Affect All Games
Nintendo Switch Online has introduced a great feature in cloud saves, so that if your Switch breaks, you’ll still keep all of your save data. However, there’s one major problem with that, not all games are compatible with cloud saves. It’s not just third-party games I’m talking about, as the list of incompatible games include Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee games. Splatoon 2 is an especially worrying addition to this list, as losing that save data would cause you to lose your online rank, as well as the Octo Expansion DLC if you bought that. Until this is added to the cloud saves, it’s a major problem.
8. The Voice Chat System is still bad
When the Nintendo Switch launched, to use voice chat in games, you had to use the Nintendo Switch app. This hasn’t changed at all, even though it’s a prominent feature of the online service. However, you’re now able to talk outside of just Splatoon 2, and can talk over any online game.
7. Cloud Saves are gone when you’re unsubscribed
While a problem with the cloud saves is that not all games are compatible, this pales in comparison to the fact that if you aren’t subscribed, then your Cloud Saves are just gone. It would be understandable if you can’t update the cloud saves when you’re unsubscribed, but the way it currently is, cloud saves are just gone if you aren’t currently subscribed to the online service.
6. Having to Pay to play Online
The worst part is obviously the fact that you now have to pay money to play games online, which not everybody can afford. This will stop tons of people from playing games online, which was free at the launch of the Switch, and now costs money. Granted, Nintendo isn’t the first company to do this, but it’s still a shame that gaming companies are charging money for features that should be free.
While that was a lot of negatives, that’s not all that the Nintendo Switch Online service has to offer. In fact there are tons of great things, so here’s the five best.
5. Cheap price for subscription
While it does suck that you have to pay to play online, Nintendo has done a great job in making it easily accessible. As opposed to Sony and Microsoft who have online services for $60 a year, Nintendo’s is only $20, which equates to roughly $1.67 per month. This isn’t even mentioning the family plan, which is $35 per year, but can be split up between family members (or friends) to make the overall price cost less.
4. Special Deals
Nintendo’s online service isn’t exclusively for the Switch however, as there are many special deals that are exclusive to those with subscriptions, such as the recently announced NES Switch controllers, and special outfits for games like Splatoon 2.
3. Cloud Saves
While I talked about the negatives of Cloud Saves earlier, it’s still pretty great that most games will be able to keep their save data across multiple systems. And while Splatoon 2 isn’t supported, both Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, the Switch’s two biggest games, both are. Not to mention the surprising amount of third-party support for cloud saves as well.
2. Playing Two Player NES Games Online
Playing video games with people across the world is common nowadays, but it obviously wasn’t when the NES was Nintendo’s premier console, so many people didn’t get to experience the multiplayer of many NES games. But now with Nintendo’s online service, you can play any NES game with multiplayer with anyone on your friends list, no matter how far away they are. This is great, and can lead to some fun competition in games like Dr. Mario or even Super Mario Bros.
1. 20+ NES Games to Play
This was the main reason many people, including myself, even got this online service. The fact that you can play 20 classic NES games at home or on the go, with more games on the way is just a great thing. The games look great, sound great, and have modern features, such as save states, that help make the overall experience greater. While there are people complaining about almost every aspect of the online service, it’s honestly worth getting just to play these classics whenever you want.