Our Take On Nintendo Switch Online

The gaming giant takes a first step into pay-to-play (online), but is the paid service a misstep?

Nintendo launched their new paid online service, Nintendo Switch Online, on September 18 — in what could be the weirdest release window (11pm EST). Promising online gameplay, a library of retro NES games and more, the service is $19.99 a year (with other, pricier option for shorter terms and a family plan for those with multiple Switches). Considering how expensive Microsoft and Sony’s services are, it seems like a steal, right? 

Signing up is simple; done through the Nintendo eShop. As a courtesy, Nintendo is giving everyone a free week to try out the new service. TGON took the new service out for a spin to weigh the pros and cons before you take the plunge. 

Online Gameplay

This is one of the more lackluster parts of the service. Playing Mario Tennis Aces with the service felt the exact same, so one of the main selling features of Nintendo Switch Online seemed, well, too familiar. Voice chatting through the iPhone app has continued to be the most convoluted thing Nintendo’s released since the mic on the Game Cube. 


  • You can continue to play online with your friends


  • This is something that we’ve had for free for more than a year

NES Library

Image via Nate Pressler

As someone who never played the NES (but was fully invested in the SNES), the library featured few recognizable games outside of the Mario franchise (here’s to you, Zelda!). It was fun to play through some of the classics, as well as get a retro feel for some of Nintendo’s lesser-known library.

Image via Nate Pressler

You can play online with friends, which would be more fun if the voice chat wasn’t such a nuisance, and add additional filters to take your love of retro games to the next level.


  • You can play old games online with your friends
  • There’s a decent selection of classic games you can download and play
  • Retro filters


  • Limited selection
  • Games pre-SNES

Cloud Saves:

I feel like I can breathe easier knowing that I won’t lose my Breath of the Wild save data, but this is something that should’ve come standard like Nintendo’s competitors. 


  • You won’t lose countless hours of gameplay for (most of) your games


  • This seems like a money-grab for something that comes standard with many systems

With the only “special deal” being the ability to buy the retro NES Joy-Cons, it’s hard to comment on what Nintendo has in store with their offers. Have you had a chance to try out the new system? 

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