Most modern gamers are used to paying for online services these days, so it wasn't a big surprise when Nintendo announced they would be charging a similar fee to game online with their next console, the Switch. According to a recent report, though, it sounds like the price tag might actually be quite a bit less than what is being asked for on competing platforms.
According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Nintendo might be asking for half (or less) as much as Sony and Microsoft currently charge for their Plus and Gold services, respectively. The report states that Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima gave a ballpark estimate for the planned Switch services on Feb. 1, ranging from between 2,000 to 3,000 yen. That totals about $17.60 to $26.40 here in the States, and that's an annual fee we're talking about.
In comparison, Microsoft and Sony charge about $60 for their online services, which would put Nintendo at about half the asking price in comparison to Plus and Gold. That, again, isn't a huge surprise when you consider that the services aren't really all that similar.
Nintendo's online plans for the Switch were one of our initial concerns following the big reveal events last month. We argued that Nintendo doesn't really push online gaming, with only a handful of titles even offering competitive and cooperative online modes. Secondly, while Plus and Gold offer a collection of games on a monthly basis that players can hang onto, Nintendo's offerings were quoted as being a single NES or SNES title per month, which would only be available to subscribers for that month.
Finally, Plus and Gold offer benefits like a robust suite of social features, cloud storage and access to oodles of streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Nintendo has stated that there will be no streaming apps at launch and, as far as we've heard, most of their social functionality, including voice chat, will be handled through a companion app rather than through the Switch itself.
In other words, Nintendo's online plans are not nearly as ambitious as Sony or Microsoft but, if these figures hold true, then at least they are pinning a price point to it that acknowledges that fact. We still feel like $30 might be pushing it while $20 seems like a nice, comfortable figure. Again, we're not saying that online features aren't worth more on an annual basis but, when Plus and Gold have set a standard, Nintendo is basically forced to price their own offerings comparatively.
So what do you think, folks? Is Nintendo aiming a bit too high still or would you be willing to part with $20-$30 for their online offerings? Let us know in the comments below.