Nintendo Switch Online is expected to be a game-changer for the Japanese brand. The subscription-based multi-player gaming system is the brand’s answer to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, representing a return to market leadership for Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch Online went live this week, allowing players to access multiplayer, cloud saves and a collection of 20 classic NES games through an online subscription service for $20 a year.
At launch there are 20 titles, with more to come each month.
- Donkey Kong
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Balloon Fight
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Double Dragon
- River City Ransom
- Ghosts’n Goblins
- Tecmo Bowl
- Pro Wrestling
Get ready for some retro gaming on the go! SEGA Genesis Classics is coming to Nintendo Switch, both physically and digitally this winter! pic.twitter.com/x6TyqLi0bd
— SEGA (@SEGA) September 18, 2018
The original Nintendo Switch console launched in March 2017, and by December, the console had 7 million-plus sellers, making it the company’s fastest-selling console in the US ever.
As Digital Trends reports, “The Switch manages to blend Nintendo’s penchant for weird, gimmicky hardware with the high quality design we’ve come to expect of consoles in the modern era. From a hardware perspective, it is the best console from the company in generations — possibly ever.”
Business Insider offers these statistics from 2017:
- Seven Switch games published by Nintendo have sold over 1 million copies each. And “Super Mario Odyssey” has sold nearly 10 million copies.
- In less than a year, the Nintendo Switch has outsold the console it replaced. And there are no signs of slowing.
- Nintendo intentionally stacked the year with big game launches.
- Over 60% of Switch owners bought “Super Mario Odyssey.”
- Nintendo sold over 4 million mini Super Nintendo consoles.
- “Super Mario Run” remains very popular, with 20 million people playing every month.
Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo president, has plans to build Nintendo into a billion-dollar business. “The idea that something will emerge that transforms into something big, in the same manner as game consoles, is the defining motive of the Nintendo business,” he said. “From what I can see, smartphone games are the ones I want to expand the most.”
As Business Insider notes, Nintendo has several things going for it: first-party titles, a massive library of older games, a growing number of indie titles, and the nostalgia factor. Nintendo was founded in 1889 as Nintendo Koppai, and made a range of playing card products.
“The Switch was a big bet for Nintendo. The company was coming off of the nascent Wii U, which besides Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, was a game system without good games. It seemed Nintendo had lost its edge,” reports Tech Crunch. “Now that the Switch is a success, Nintendo needs to maintain it by building and supporting a robust ecosystem of games.”