Nintendo Switch Online launches with Confusion
Nintendo Switch Online is a major feature of Nintendo Switch system firmware 6.0 and is needed in order to connect to the service.
The system alerts you that a new firmware is available to download and you go through the process as normal. You can find the patch notes here.
Upon updating your console tho, there is no notification, news, or icon to show that this has been added. Sure there are news posts in regards to it, but nothing else.
I was hoping we would be getting a new icon on the Switch home screen. This would go into a hub that would have everything for Nintendo Switch Online right there.
When you eventually find it, it will give you a 7-day free trial. This will then automatically roll over into a $3.99 monthly subscription. No option to do otherwise.
If you want the yearly subscription or Family Plan, you need to do that manually. You do this by going to the eShop, tapping on ‘Nintendo Switch Online’, then ‘Membership Options’. It will then allow you to select the subscription you want.
I would guess a lot of parents are going to be put into the monthly plan without even realizing there is a much cheaper option.
Nintendo could be banking on this fact since they would get $28 more per member if they pay monthly for an entire year.
Also if you subscribe to Nintendo Online, you get access to NES Online. Which (currently) allows you to play 20 NES games with added features on the system. Some games you can play online with friends, leaderboards etc. Also added a few filters as well.
This is also something that you have to download manually. When I signed up, I had to go to the eShop again, and go to the NSO section and start the download myself. This should have been an automatic download.
Nintendo Switch Online is mostly used for online play, but also allows most games (not all) save data to be saved to the cloud. This prevents your data from being lost if your Switch breaks or is stolen.
Splatoon 2 and Pokemon Let’s Go being two major ones that do not allow save data to be uploaded. While they do cite understandable reasons as to why these are not allowed (those reasons below), there is no reason why they cannot develop around this.
The reasons for both are essentially tricking the game into giving you something back that you no longer have.
In the case of Splatoon 2, Let’s say you lost a rank or two in online play. Instead of playing more and getting that rank back legitimately, you could just quit the game, download your save from the cloud. This then gives you back your old rank.
This is cheating and makes the game unbalanced for everyone. They can ‘easily’ circumvent this having the game automatically upload save data once they rank up or rank down.
They could also automatically upload the ranked/league data after every match. This would have it so ranked/league data is separate from all other Splatoon 2 save data. Also when going to the ranked/league section, do a check to see if any data has been changed.
In Pokemon, the reason is much more involved. The reason being, that they don’t want people giving away one of a kind items / Pokemon, then downloading their cloud save and having those items/Pokemon like they never left.
Yes, you can have it auto upload the save to the cloud upon trade or giving away in-game, but it happens quite frequently at times. This would inadvertently make the game feel sluggish and slow when doing these things. Also, it depends on the file size of the save file.