Nintendo Switch Online
The logo for Nintendo's online service for Switch. Nintendo

Nintendo has announced more details regarding the premium online service for its new console, Nintendo Switch. There have been some changes since we last heard about the plans, including that it will now launch in 2018.

Prior to the Switch's launch in March, Nintendo said the paid-for service, which will grant players access to online multiplayer, would launch in autumn after a test period in the summer.

Online play in games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and July's Splatoon 2 will instead remain free in 2017 and right up until whenever it is Nintendo decides to launch its new service next year.

Nintendo's previous plan also granted subscribers access to one classic game per month, with access revoked after that month ends. Instead, the service will now offer "ongoing access" to a library of games, Netflix-style.

The games Nintendo has so-far confirmed for the service are NES favourites Super Mario Bros 3, Dr Mario and Balloon Fight.

A subscription to Nintendo Switch Online will cost €/$3.99 a month, €/$7.99 for a three-month period and €/$19.99 for a 12-month period. UK pricing has yet to be announced. This is significantly cheaper than the costs for both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live - the similar services for PS4 and Xbox One.

Once live, a subscription will be needed to play games online and access online lobbies and voice chat features. These will be handled by an app for smart devices. Nintendo still plans to launch a free, limited version of the app this summer for testing purposes.

Nintendo's announcement offers some much-needed clarity over the service, and appears to be a pretty good deal too. That said, details regarding the classic game library, including how that factors into Nintendo's plans to sell such games on Switch, and the app are still needed.

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