Japanese pricing suggests less expensive service than XBOX Live and Playstation Plus.
Speaking to Nikkie, earlier today, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishira revealed that the annual cost for online service on the Nintendo Switch in Japan would be ¥2000 to ¥3000 which translates to about $18 to $24.
Last month Nintendo held a special Switch Presentation to reveal key details about the new console. One of the more surprising revelations from that event was the addition of a fee for online services on the Switch. Neither the Wii nor the WiiU, required payment for online access. Nintendo’s stated reason for the change from a free to a paid model is to improve service in general.
A possible alternate reason for the change is that online service on the switch will operate differently from past consoles. The online service on the new console will allow players to pair a smartphone to the Switch to complete actions like matchmaking, voice chat, and managing a friends list. The service also comes with temporary access to a classic Nintendo game each month which could be a third reason for the addition of a fee to the service.
The Nintendo Switch launches March 3 with the online service included for free until Summer this year. The exact date when players will begin paying for online services was not revealed during Kimishira’s interview. It is also still unclear whether or not Nintendo will pro-rate the pricing for this service based on the regional cost of internet service. In that case the US price would be somewhat higher than the Japanese price since US internet service is generally worse and more expensive than Japanese internet service.