The Nintendo Switch may be the main attraction of Nintendo's Switch Presentation 2017, but the industry giant also announces a new paid Nintendo Online service is coming.
The Nintendo Switch live stream presentation has already produced some big news. Whether it's the fact that the Nintendo Switch will be launching with a $299 USD price tag ($399 CAD) or the controversial announcement that the Switch will enjoy a battery life as short as 2.5 hours in some instances, Nintendo has finally recaptured the imagination of the gaming industry after a long period of dormancy following the disappointing reception of the Wii U.
While the details on the Nintendo Switch will, justifiably, be the main takeaway most gamers remember from the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017, Nintendo also made an announcement that could be much more impactful in the long-term. Nintendo announced during the presentation that the Nintendo Switch would also feature a Nintendo Online service, but that the company would be changing its long-standing policy regarding online services. Starting in the fall of 2017, Nintendo will be debuting a Nintendo Online paid service.
There weren't many details forthcoming from Nintendo besides the announcement itself, but given the show that the company chose to make the announcement for its paid online service at, it is a safe bet that the Nintendo Online paid service will be chiefly designed for the Nintendo Switch. It's possible that the paid service might retroactively be brought to the Nintendo 3DS as well, although the marketing for the Switch has focused pretty heavily on its portability as a selling point, so it appears more likely at this point that Nintendo views the Switch as its next handheld as well.
That being said, there really isn't much to go on in terms of details, so contextualizing the announcement of a paid Nintendo Online service is important. Nintendo has long been criticized for its reluctance to offer gamers a true online service in the same way that Sony and Microsoft offer fans the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live respectively. The introduction of a paid Nintendo Online service could mean that Nintendo has finally acquiesced to the demands of its fans, and a paid online service will likely make the Switch more attractive to studios known for their online multiplayer titles like Activision and Bungie.
Nintendo stated that the company intends to clarify its paid Nintendo Online service at a later date, so it doesn't appear as if gamers will have any hard answers any time soon - but the fact that there is a paid service at all suggests that the Nintendo Switch could be Nintendo's return to more traditional gaming. Time will tell, but the Nintendo Switch looks like a serious contender, something that should have Sony and Microsoft at least a little concerned.