Nintendo Switch Online has been out for nearly a year. We’ve seen the launch of NES and SNES games and exclusives like Tetris 99. Cloud saves are also included, but confusingly not for all games.
Despite the benefits, the service remains lackluster when compared to competitors like Xbox and PlayStation. Xbox GamePass offers a subscription service for unlimited access to a growing catalogue of games.
PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold give ‘free’ games away as long as you stay subscribed. If the Nintendo Switch had launched with the Wii’s Virtual Console catalog it may have been comparable.
Nintendo Switch Online still lacks basic features a year later.
The star feature of Nintendo Switch Online – cloud saving – is a selective feature. There are plenty of first-party and third-party games that don’t have support for it.
Online services have their information backed up by their developers, but what about single player games? The upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn’t support cloud saves.
The list of games that lack cloud save support may surprise you. I won’t list them all since it is quite long. Neither Pokemon Sword or Shield supports cloud saves. 1-2 Switch, Splatoon 2, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions round out some of the more egregious examples.
The NES & SNES release schedule is inconsistent.
One of the best things about the Wii Virtual Console was seeing which games were being added every week. That’s something we haven’t seen with Nintendo Switch Online.
Nintendo was fairly regular with new NES releases from September 2018 up until August 2019. There was a big gap before more games in December 2019. The SNES app has been even more ignored with release in September 2019 and one update with four games in December 2019.
Both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus sees multiple ‘free’ games given to subscribers every month.
Nintendo is spreading its services across multiple apps.
Pokemon Home and Bank is necessary to trade Pokemon from the last generation of games. It’s an optional subscription service that feels like it should be free for NSO subscribers.
The service has a free tier and a $16/yearly tier. Pokemon fans who want to battle online will need to pay for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
That means huge Pokemon fans will pay for both services. If these premium Pokemon services were baked into NSO with a slightly higher price, it would be more bearable.
Tetris 99 is awesome, but soon to be non-exclusive. Why pay for Nintendo Switch Online when it will be on mobile soon?
Tetris 99 is a fun new concept that made the free trial of Nintendo Switch Online appealing. Playing Tetris against 99 other players to claim the crown as the best captured the world this summer.
That interest is soon to be short-lived though, since a new Tetris Battle Royale is launching soon for mobile. The Tetris Company partnered with N3twork to release a mobile version of Tetris 99. If users can play the game for free on their smartphone, why pay for Nintendo Switch Online?