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Mario as a Service: Nintendo Switch Online lands next week

Mario as a Service: Nintendo Switch Online lands next week
[Photo: ant2506/Pixabay]

After a yearlong delay, Nintendo is ready to launch an online subscription service for the Nintendo Switch console. Nintendo Switch Online arrives on September 18 and will cost $4 per month, $8 for three months, or $20 per year. Nintendo is also offering a family plan for $35 per year.

Until now, Nintendo has allowed Switch owners to play their games online for free. At least some of those games–including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2–will go behind the paywall next week, but the service also adds some long-awaited perks. Players will be able to store their saved game data online so it’s not lost if the console gets damaged or goes missing, and Nintendo will provide a library of classic Nintendo games such as Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Those classics will even support online play for the first time. Nintendo is promising “special offers” for subscribers as well, but hasn’t given any details yet.

Nintendo originally planned to launch its online service in fall 2017, but said it needed more time to get things right. The delay hasn’t stopped the Nintendo Switch from becoming a hit, though. In January, the clever two-in-one system became the fastest-selling game console of all time in both the U.S. and Japan.

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