Technology

Roughly One in Every Three Nintendo Switch Owner Subscribes to Switch Online: Report

Roughly One in Every Three Nintendo Switch Owner Subscribes to Switch Online: Report

Roughly a third of Nintendo Switch owners appear to have signed up for access to online multiplayer, voice chat, "Tetris 99," and an expanding library of vintage NES games. Nintendo Switch Online subscriber accounts number over 10 million, according to President of Nintendo, Shuntaro Furukawa, quoted in a transcript of the company's 79th Shareholders AGM.

The service, priced at a relatively modest US$20 compared to the US$59 of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, provides access to online multiplayer for most Switch games that have such modes, the hit members-exclusive game "Tetris 99," as well as cloud saves, voice chat and online lobbies through a smartphone app. By contrast, Xbox and PlayStation tend to offer larger, more prestigious complimentary games, with Xbox providing both Games with Gold and the Xbox Games Pass.

In addition, a library of downloadable games originally released for the 1980s Nintendo Entertainment System has been receiving around four new games every month since Switch Online launched in September 2018. At the end of March 2019, Nintendo and online game streaming service Twitch partnered to offer a year's free Switch Online membership for Twitch Prime members. Twitch Prime is conferred upon Amazon Prime subscribers; the 12-month offer consists of three months of Switch Online for linked Nintendo Accounts, and additional nine months for those that have been Twitch Prime members for 60 days.

The initial offer runs until September 24, 2019, with the 60-day extension continuing until January 22, 2020. As of April 2018, Amazon Prime had over 100 million subscribers. The service costs US$99 per year.