The online payment service for Nintendo Switch, the new console from the Japanese video game giant, will cost between 2,000 and 3,000 yen ($17-$26), company president Tatsumi Kimishima said on Thursday.
“With paid (services), we will be able to fully commit to customers,” said Kimishima. In an interview with Efe news, Yoshiaki Koizumi, deputy general manager of Nintendo’s development division, said that the company seeks to offer “another dimension” in networked services and hence they need “servers of a really high quality”. The online services of the Kyoto-based company, which had been free until now, will have to be paid for from later this year, according to Kimishima’s statements during the presentation of the Switch console on January 13 in Tokyo.
The price is half of the annual cost of subscribing to the online services of its main competitors, Sony (PlayStation Plus, about $54 a year) and Microsoft (Xbox Live Gold, about $65 a year). Kimishima also revealed that Nintendo is studying ways to add virtual reality (VR) features to its new console, which will hit markets on March 3. ALSO READ: Nintendo Switch is a shape-shifting $300 gaming console: Specifications, games, availability and more
“If we are able to resolve the issues with playing VR comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one way or another,” he said. Nintendo has already made a pioneering approach to virtual reality with the launch of Virtual Boy in 1995, a projector in the form of glasses to wear (similar to the current ones) that showed the games monochrome in “three dimensions” thanks to a stereoscopic effect. The product resulted in a fiasco for the company, since playing it for long hours could cause spinal pain. Kimishima also said that he plans to release two or three games for smartphones by early 2019. ALSO READ: Nintendo’s online store crashes after it opens pre-orders for Switch