Nintendo Switch Online And Classic NES Games Are Live

If you've been waiting to check out the Nintendo Switch Online service, it's live now — as are all of the NES games that come with it, and the free 7-day trial.

To activate the trial, you'll need to make sure your Switch is updated. I had to manually push the update through the System settings — the console didn't pick it up automatically.

Once that's done, browse to your user settings page (top left of the main Switch menu). From there you'll see a tab that says "Check Membership Status in Nintendo eShop".

That will take you through to a page where you can select Membership Options for Nintendo Switch Online, after which you'll see this:

As before, it'll cost you $5.95 for a month-on-month subscription, $11.95 for three months at a time, or $29.95 for a full year. Family accounts, which support up to 8 accounts and last for a year, cost $54.95.

You can activate a 7 day trial, and subsequently disable the trial from the Pass Settings tab in your user settings. (If you forget to cancel the automatic renewal, it will renew the membership on a monthly basis.)

From there, you'll be able to download the Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online software. You can launch single or local co-op games from here, and there's a button to start online play. If you don't have any friends' games to join, it'll let you launch a game of your own with an open slot so others can join. (You can lock it with a password, if you want.)

Here's a shot of Tennis going, because I picked it at random:

You can activate all of this through your Switch right now. The NES download is just over 50MB, so you might as well grab it on the work/school/uni Wi-Fi before heading home.


    Did you see Anything about the member only products/specials they mentioned?

      Currently you have the option to buy NES joy cons. That's it so far.

        Oh wait, there is a download code for Splatoon 2 clothes. I think one other game had some minor cosmetic thing like that. Maybe it was on a 12 month sub.

          Yes, must be a 12 month membership.

          Based on uniforms the Japanese Splatoon 2 team GG Boyz wore at the E3 invitational.

    Is 50MB really an issue for home users these day?

    More interesting I think is that the 6.0.0 update has provided for game sharing between multiple Switches (you can add your account to a second Switch, must be online and can't be using game on primary console) and that you can move your account to a new primary Switch if your old one breaks/lost online (bizarrely limited to once a year).

    Small steps.

      Oh I forgot the absolute most important feature:

      You can now post up to four screenshots to Twitter in one post. D:

        ... and then wait to see if Nintendos DMCA bots will kill them.

    not being able to change button layout is a needless inconvenience.

    Last edited 19/09/18 3:04 pm

    I wish Nintendo would position the Switch as a broadly backwards compatible system the way MS has with the Xbone.

    With all due respect to their history, 99% of NES games are objectively terrible now. Unless you’re over 30, want to play these games again and have been somehow prevented from playing them on any of the 50 occasions Nintendo has re-sold them (or downloaded them for free on anything more powerful than the microwave clock required to run them), then you’re going to get about 2 minutes playtime and zero minutes of fun out of these games.

    As it stands you’re essentially paying for features that either should be free or currently are.

    It about now that Nintendo fans should be regretting all the crazy design choices Nintendo made with their controllers over the past 25 years that makes playing everything post SNES a pain in the ass. I’d pay for some scaled-up N64, GC or Wii titles on the Switch.

      Being fair, the N64 and GC map perfectly fine to the current standard controller layouts fairly well. Wii and Wii U are a bit more special, but most games generally shipped with controller support.

      I don't think its quite as bad as you think - but yes, I agree in continuing to be aggravated about Nintendo's drip feeding and locking away of most of their past.

        The GC isn’t too bad, but I think saying “quite well” for the N64 is taking it a bit far. I play lots of both on my PC with an Xbone controller which is better than the Switch setup and it’s still far from ideal for many games.

        The Wii is a near write-off and the Switch is probably never getting direct BC for the WiiU because they’re porting “remasters” of so many games.

        There’s no reason the Switch couldn’t run GC games like F-Zero GX, Mario Golf: TT or Metroid Prime near flawlessly though with a standard setup. I’m sure any Nintendo fan would love to see those kinds of games come over.

        GC is generally okay but N64 is hit or miss. In the case of the N64 it really depends on what the C buttons were used for...often you can supplement the C directions simply for directions on the right analogue stick and it works perfectly fine but that's not the case with every game. Fighting games and action games would have used those C buttons for attacks and the like, making them all but impossible to play unless you had a 6 button controller that mapped to the C buttons properly.

      Nope. SNES minis are selling well. You don't see other consoles selling their legacy systems.

        I don't even know what you're "nope"ing.
        Must be great for you having your SNES games locked on $100 of home based proprietary hardware while your $450 flagship machine gets NES games.
        It's just a bad service. Bad for fans, bad for non-fans.
        I can play pretty much every Nintendo game that ever existed in high res on my PC just because competent fans put a bit of effort in. Nintendo should do better.

      Since when should online play be free? It was only free at the start as they didn't have a system set up for it. No console company provides free online play. Of course id like it to be free but you're kidding yourself if you expect it.

      Last edited 19/09/18 2:54 pm

        No console company provides free online play.

        Cough.. PS3...Cough.

        For what it offers in comparison to any of the systems before it (ie fewer features and no improvements, in some cases even worse an experience) it should not cost more than they did. Which was nothing.

          Have you even used it? id be surprised if you even had a switch.

            2600 hours of Splatoon 2 and counting, try again.

            I own every other Nintendo system too, and the Wii U's online service was lightyears ahead of what the Switch offers.

              That's actually an epic number. I'm not even angry

              The only thing that gets me is the voice chat, using an app on your phone is ridiculous. Otherwise, we all deserve to pay

                Pay for what exactly? They're not using dedicated servers to host games, Splatoon runs even worse than the previous iteration (reduced tick rate to 16Hz), NES games have been done to death and then some, and the cloud backups situation is a mess. I dunno what you did to deserve that, all I did was buy in on the system.

    Awh dang, gotta wait til I go home and fire up the Switch. Still can't do it from the ninty website. (It's still all 'coming soon' buttons everywhere.)

    Right now; no thanks. Add SNES games - namely most of the games off the snes mini, lots i’ll think of after i’ve posted & biker mice from mars (because it was way more awesome than it had any right to be) - and i will happily send some crispy dollar bills in your direction Mr & Mrs Nintendo.

    No-one wants to play these games.

    I have a ton of SNES games on my Wii U that I WANT to play, but i'm not purchasing them again. Just no way.

      I absolutely 100% want to play Super Mario Bros 3 wherever and whenever I can.

      They are meant to be a bonus for a service that is essential for some games, not the main attraction.

        And yet they amount to basically the only attraction (if you can even call it that) on the entire list.

          Yeah, I'm with you, I was all set to drop $30 (which isn't that much really, to be fair) but after updating and playing some nes games I got bored real fast and now I'm having trouble justifying the cost. Maybe if I was still playing splatoon as much, but I haven't touched it in months.

          (Also, cloud saves, which are super handy on all my other systems.)

            A sick joke, since it doesn't apply to Splatoon which is both the only game I care about on Switch and the only reason I'd need an online subscription in the first place.

            Except a bunch of games that should have cloud saves (and do on other systems) don't and won't. I'm guessing because it will require effort?

        But what is the main attraction then? Insurance with the cloud saves if you lose your system?

          Also, being able to play online.

            Seriously? But you can already play online. They're locking that functionality behind a paywall. That makes you... happy?

              Oh, I was not commenting on what makes me happy, (because it certainly doesn't) only on what constitutes the core part of the service.

              I play online, but infrequently, so even the relatively small fee seems like a tad too much. I'm sure I would get enjoyment from the old NES games, but in all honesty, I'd rather play new games. I'm one of those people who is continuously mortified by the fact that mortality sets an unknown limit on the things that one may experience. :)

      I want to play them. I'm happy to pay $30 a year to have an old games library sitting on my Switch, ready to go. Clearly they'll add SNES games eventually and probably consoles beyond that over time.
      I can understand not wanting to jump in just yet, but I think as time goes on, this thing will be a bargain. Everyone seems to want to hate it though, so *shrug*.

        I've been on the Nintendo treadmill for a while and I want to see how it goes before I part with anymore money.

        I need a lot more value out of another service than just the ability to multiplay mariokart and access to nes titles.

        Why do you think it'll be a bargain?

    Wtf this was supposed to be a reply not a new comment. Kotaku pls.

    Last edited 20/09/18 12:48 pm

    Ok come on this is dumb.

    Last edited 20/09/18 12:50 pm

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