Nintendo Looks to Boost Switch Online

The online service subscription, Nintendo Switch Online, eventually hit the 8 million subscribers mark this month, but it was a slow crawl. Even worse, more users are opting for the 1 or 3-month plans as opposed to the 12-month plan.

The price of Nintendo Switch Online is lower than both the PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, but the features are much worse. Connectivity issues continue to be a problem, as Nintendo attempts to catch up to the online gaming practices that have been standard for nearly 7 years now, and there’s a good reason to get up to date now. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the fastest selling Nintendo game of all time, and it is really, really good. Online play is a big part of Smash, so it is no surprise that Nintendo is ramping up its features and capabilities to match the demand of one of the hottest games in the competitive scene.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said recently that the goal is to move more year-long subscriptions, and that only comes with an incentive.

“With this in mind, we are currently planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis… It is very important to our future business and we are giving it our all.”

A major feature of Nintendo Switch Online is NES games. Classics like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, and more are fun additions, but the issue continues to be that users remain skeptical of the efficiency of the online system.

So what is going to boost the appeal? Furukawa offered no plan forward, and Nintendo is currently in its longest Nintendo Direct drought since they introduced the online video announcement format for company news. A big influencer could be the rumored addition of SNES games, or maybe an in-game chat function. That’s right, Nintendo still wants you to use their mobile app for chat, and it only works on a handful of games. No wonder users are not chomping at the bit to subscribe. Make positive changes, and that boost should come easily.

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