The Nintendo Switch is one of the best video game systems on the market today and Nintendo’s first true chance of regaining lost market share since the Wii. The system, unlike the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, is lacking a quality online service, but that is set to change come 2018

According to the newest report, Nintendo is aiming to launch its online service designed for the Switch at some point in 2018. The service will cost gamers $20 per year, which is significantly cheaper than the $60 per year required for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

For the first time, it would appear as if Nintendo is very serious about getting its house in order where online multiplayer is concerned. The company for the most part of over 10-years has struggled to get an essential online service up and running, but things are finally moving in the right direction.

The launch of a smartphone app

Nintendo is looking into launching a smartphone app alongside the service in 2018. We suspect it will work in similar ways to smartphone apps for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, so fans should not keep eyes out for any form of surprises.

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When the service goes online next year, fans will have the option to use the app invite friends or families to active game sessions. Furthermore, the ability to chat with friends will also be a huge part of the service. The idea right now is to have a beta version of the app released this summer with limited features.

Online play free until 2018

For now, online play on the Switch will continue to be a free spectacle until the service full launches next year. At that point, players will be asked to pay a membership fee to play with their friends. Bear in mind; the service has three tiers, a price for a single month, one for three months, and the other for an entire year.

For those who can only afford to pay for a single month, the price is a mere $3.99, while paying for three months of the Switch’s online service goes up to $7.99. An entire year costs $19.99, which is a great deal from our point of view.

Nintendo following the footsteps of Netflix

Microsoft isn’t the only one with ideas of creating the Netflix of games. Nintendo is on the same path with its excellent library of games, and guess what? Each and every game within the library is free to play granted the player pays his or her Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

This move differs from Microsoft, as that company is seeking $9.99 per month for the Xbox Game Pass service. Add that to a yearly subscription of Xbox Live, and that’s near $200 spent in a single year. Then again, Nintendo’s library is filled with classic games, while Xbox Game Pass is a mixture of old and new.

Note that every classic game in Nintendo’s library will have access to online multiplayer one way or the other.

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