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Nintendo Switch Online Gaming Will Be Available Much Later Than Expected

June 2, 2017, 3:47 PM UTC

Nintendo has revealed more information about its upcoming Switch online gaming service.

In a site update on Thursday, Nintendo announced that its online play service will be available in 2018, several months later than expected. Access to the online gaming will cost $20 per year. Those who want to pay month-to-month will incur a $3.99 monthly charge. A three-month subscription to the service will cost $7.99 per month.

Nintendo (NTDOY) has historically offered free-to-play online gaming in earlier consoles, like the Wii U. In January, however, the company said that it would follow in the footsteps of its competitors, Microsoft and Sony, and offer a paid service that would allow users to play games online only after incurring a fee. Still, Switch owners will be able to play online for free until the paid service’s actual launch in 2018.

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The iconic game company also said during its press conference in January that it would launch its paid service in the fall of 2017. Nintendo didn’t say on Friday why the paid service has been delayed.

In addition to online play, the monthly fee will provide users with a selection of classic games from older Nintendo consoles that they can play free of charge as often as they want. Nintendo will also release a smartphone chatting app that will allow players to communicate with each other and set up gaming sessions.

Nintendo is expected to release more details on the program’s features as its launch gets closer.