Nintendo has explained why the Nintendo Switch online service will cost money. It confirmed the service's existence earlier this year, though the service itself will not go live until fall.
In an interview with Famitsu, Nintendo's managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi explained that the company decided to charge for the online service because it is "concerned with with customer satisfaction." Takahashi said that as Nintendo will be "maintaining the online service and providing new services that we haven’t had up until now," there are costs "associated" with that. The company behind the Switch also wants to "maintain a stable playing experience and provide proper support."
Given that the online services of the PS4 and Xbox One - PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live, respectively - cost money, many fans are understanding that maintaining this doesn't come cheap. In order to avoid lag, hacks and outages, someone has to pay for that upkeep.
These comparable services come with extra features, and the Nintendo Switch service is expected to follow suit. In the interview, Takahashi says that Nintendo is "working to prepare all of the features" and "details on the service will be available at a later time."
One confirmed feature is that the Nintendo Switch online service will include a free classic game every month. Though, this comes with the caveat that each free game is just a free trial for a month, after which point the Switch player will have to fork out and buy the full game.
It's unclear how much longer fans will have to wait for more information about the service, though Nintendo has at least said that it won't be too expensive. The company's CEO Tatsumi Kimishima previously hinted that the subscription may cost much cheaper than expected. Though, Kimishima didn't disclose whether said subscription would be available on a monthly rolling plan or whether players will have to pay annually instead.
Hopefully Nintendo will reveal all sooner rather than later. While the service isn't exactly a selling point, many were intrigued when the company confirmed that the Switch would support online play in a major way. E3 is right around the corner, so perhaps more will be confirmed then.
The Nintendo Switch is available now.