More Thoughts From Me #119: Switching to Paid Online
Yesterday, Nintendo announced their paid online service plans. I knew this might happen and so I waited till the last minute to write this weeks More Thoughts. I was hoping that they would wait till after I wrote my column and that way I could be totally proven wrong! Oh well. Todays More Thoughts will be about the service and what I think about it.
We all knew that sooner or later Nintendo would make us pay to play games online. It was just a matter of time. Sony did it, Microsoft did before them, and Nintendo was the last console holdout. The 3DS and Wii U online is still free. The Nintendo Switch online will go to pay service in September.
Yesterday, Nintendo gave us some details about their upcoming paid online service. Lets talk about what I don’t like about it first!
Nintendo has completely dropped the ball when it comes to voice chat for the Switch. Instead of having a headset like Microsoft or Sony or a voice box like the Wii or a microphone on the Switch system, Nintendo has said that we can have voice chat…as long as we have a cellphone. The Nintendo voice chat app for smartphones is a horrible idea.
Not everyone is obessed with cellphones and even for those who are, they don’t want to use up airtime on their phones for a video game. The voice chat should be part of the system! I think everybody was hoping that with the Switch online service Nintendo would finally bring real voice chat to the system. And Nintendo let us down again on that. Its so frustrating!
However, I have to say that everything else about the upcoming online service sounds great. 20 free NES games at launch of the service?! And they have online features added to them?! Wow. That is really cool. Can’t wait to see what all twenty of the games will be and what comes next after them.
Oh and we’ll finally hear people stop whinning about Cloud saves on the Switch because those are coming to the system too. Ok, thank you for whinning everybody. Nintendo heard you obviously. I think this is going to be a great feature.
Of course, another big thing for the service is the online gameplay. Sure, the online is free right now, but with it going to paid service, hopefully online gameplay for the Switch will see even more improvements and be even better. I know we are holding our breath to see how Smash Bros Switch plays online!
Finally, I have to say I’m pretty happy with the pricing system for the online service. I’m going to start off with the $20 a year for sure but may want to get the family plan later on (depending on how Animal Crossing Switch works).
So almost everything about Nintendo’s upcoming online service is pretty great. I wish Nintendo would figure out that no one wants to use their cellphone for the voice chat. Maybe the Switch isn’t capable of doing voice chat? If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a future system upgrade that lets you use built-in voice chat either by mike or microphone. Its too bad us early adaptors may be left out in the cold…
Still, even with that concern, I absolutely can’t wait till Nintendo’s paid online service gets here. I’m ready to sign up!
What about you? Will you be getting Nintendo’s online service in September? What features are you looking forward to?
Next week: E3 is just around the corner (June!) and so its time to start predicting it. Next week I’ll discuss what I think Sony will show at E3. Expect a lot of wild and crazy predictions!
More Thoughts From Me is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed here are mine and mine alone. Is it September yet?!