Nintendo’s online service, a fee-based service to let people play online on Switch, is facing another delay according to Nintendo’s Italian website.
The website mentioned that the Switch’s online services have been pushed back to Fall 2018, around nineteen months after the system’s launch and twelve months after the service’s initial planned launch. When it was announced at the Nintendo Switch January presentation, the service was planned to launch in Fall of this year. The fee-based service was supposed to include one Virtual Console game, games from older consoles sold digitally, retrofitted with online play.
In June of this year, Nintendo announced that the service would be delayed until Spring 2018, but it would be accompanied by a service of multiple virtual console games suggested to be a streaming service. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has stated that he believes the annual fees should be around 2000 – 3000 yen, roughly in the $17 – $26 a year range.
As of now, playing online in Switch games is free, but most people suspect virtual console support will not come until Nintendo rolls out its paid service. If the service is being delayed to fall of next year, it might be a commensurate delay for the virtual console, as well.
If the service is going to be delayed as far as late next year, it might be better to just ditch the plans for paid online and charge a fee for a streaming virtual console service alone. It certainly makes more sense than closing the gate on free online nineteen months after release, especially if they don’t intend to improve the online service at all.