It’s no secret that when it comes to to the major gaming consoles, people will usually bring up Nintendo last when talking about online multiplayer. Their initial focus was never online connectivity since their consoles were frequently aimed at families who could sit at home and play together. On the modern market, however, online multiplayer is important so gamers are able to play with their friends without having to be in the same room. Nintendo seems to have finally started to catch on that the online aspect of multiplayer is very important to their players, and with their upcoming paid service, this could mean we’re going to see even more from them on the Switch.
In order for Nintendo to even make their online service tantalizing to the average gamer, they need games to make paying for it worthwhile. They already have Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe lined up, but they won’t get many besides hardcore fans to pay for the service until they offer a broader selection. Nintendo’s newest IP, ARMS, has great potential for Switch as a competitive title, and with the announcement that all game modes will be available to play online, it could be a turn out to be a hit multiplayer title for Nintendo like Smash Bros. or Splatoon. Even just giving players a port of Smash Bros. with additional content similar to Mario Kart would be hugely compelling to tons of hardcore and even casual Smash players. Nintendo has said that they will be enabling online play for some of their older virtual console titles which is one more small push in the right direction, but there still needs to me more new content made to attract players.
Since the release of the Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo has slowly been coming out with more online titles. The 3DS in particular has had quite a few stand-out online multiplayer titles in its lifetime. Triforce Heroes, Kid Icarus: Uprising and even Metroid Prime: Federation Force offered vastly different enjoyable online experiences. The biggest problem for these games was while they did have a good online gameplay going for them, the 3DS being forced to rely on Wi-Fi and Nintendo’s somewhat unreliable servers caused a lot of drops for players. Now with their upcoming online service, it’s likely we’ll finally see improved game play sessions overall on the Switch. Perhaps Nintendo will port or even remake some of these 3DS titles for the Switch to encourage their player base further into their subscription.
Nintendo made it clear early on that they would put a greater emphasis on improved third party support, which has led to the Switch having currently over 100 new and old titles currently planned for release within the next couple years. That being the case, we’re likely to see more third party games released on the Switch simultaneously with Sony and Microsoft’s systems and making a more compelling reason for Nintendo fans to stick with them instead of needing to pick up another console for that particular game. Nintendo hasn’t typically competed with Sony and Microsoft as much as they do with each other, but this will give them a chance to challenge them in their own way if they can real in the big online games and supply enough stand out exclusive titles in the long run.
The fact that Nintendo is offering a paid online service seems like enough evidence that we can expect more online titles from them in due time. Perhaps we’ll even see more pop up at E3 later this year. Nintendo might not have ever been known for their online play before, but they seem to be pushing harder than ever to make the Switch and its future a success for online multiplayer a hit. While single player games are where Nintendo has always stood firm, their reach into online multiplayer could be the push they need to bring even more gamers to the system. Nintendo is focusing all their effort on the Switch in full force, and their online play could be a big deciding factor in just how well it does in the long run.