Nintendo’s Switch Online service will cost $20 per year and launch in 2018

Important news for Switch owners, Nintendo has spoken up to confirm a number of details around the online service for its new console.

Online is an essential component to gaming these days, and the Switch service will grant subscribers access to a library of classic games as well as unlocking the option to play with friends online, set up game appointments and chat. The second half of the feature set will come via a compatible mobile app, however, rather than being integrated into the Switch itself, but we already knew that.

Price-wise, the Nintendo Switch Online service will come in at $19.99 per year when it launches fully in 2018. There will also be $3.99 per month and $7.99 per three month options for those who are more reluctant to commit. Those figures are in line with the company’s previously announced pricing estimate. They also make the service some degree cheaper than the equivalents for Xbox and PlayStation, although Nintendo has traditionally offered up online services for free.

Ahead of the full launch, Nintendo will make a limited version available for free. That’ll include the mobile app, which is scheduled for release this summer.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Nintendo made a welcomed change to its package. Initially, it had planned to give online subscribers access to just one classic title each month, however it confirmed to Kotaku that this proposed limitation has been scraped.

Here’s what Nintendo said in full:

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.