Nintendo Switch online service gets new release date, pricing

Gaming online on the Nintendo Switch has been fun for “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” players to gather for a competitive race. It has also been a free service, but that will soon be changing when Nintendo releases its Online Play service sometime in 2018.

Previously scheduled for release in the fall of 2017, the company has pushed back the release date to the subscription service. Compatible co-op and competitive games can be played online with others by signing in to a Nintendo account.

A smart device app for lobby and voice chat is expected to be a limited release sometime 2018 Eventually, those services will convert to the paid service.

Pricing is available for one-, three- or 12-month subscriptions. A single month is $3.99. Three months is $7.99. A year subscription is $19.99.

Those prices are significantly lower than Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus services, which cost $59.99 per year.

Nintendo said subscribers will also get to download classic titles with added online play and get special Nintendo eShop deals. Those who don’t sign up will still have access to the eShop but not get the deals.