Nintendo plans to "boost" Switch Online after surge in short subscription plans.

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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#1
https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic...nline-after-surge-in-short-subscription-plans

Nintendo Switch Online now has 8 million subscribers, but a growing number of them are opting for shorter subscription plans.

In a Q&A session with investors, Nintendo's management was asked about the popularity of Nintendo Switch Online in the wake of Super Smash Bros Ultimate -- which is the fastest selling console game in the company's history.

The long-awaited online service launched on September 18, 2018, and Nintendo reported that more than half of subscribers in its first six weeks had signed up for a "12-month family or individual membership."

Nintendo declined to offer details on the proportion of users in each subscription plan, but Shuntaro Furukawa, the company's president, said "a growing percentage is now opting for shorter plans like the one-month membership."

"It is critical that these members want to continue using the service for a long time rather than letting it expire, and for that we need to build relationships with consumers and enrich the content" he said.

"With this in mind, we are currently planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis... It is very important to our future business and we are giving it our all."
 
Feb 21, 2018
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stop being slow cheap bastards and dump a bunch of NES and SNES roms on the system. I mean it cant be hard to drop at least all the classic SNES/NES games on the thing ASAP and then another 10 a month at least.

I am sure that would get more people interested if you had 50+ games to start and another 120 at least over the next year.
 
Jan 21, 2015
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I'm hoping this drives them to not only increase the quantity (and types - hello SNES) of games, but also causes them to improve the overall features of the offering. I'm happy with my sub, but they really should add much more functionality to the offering IMO.
 
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#8
NES games are literally almost unplayable today. It's basically worthless little trinkets you'd play for 2 minutes as a novelty. And I grew up playing all these.

It needs NES, SNES, 64 games at a minimum. Even then, those are all old games and are much older than what the competition is giving out. They should be seriously considering Gamecube and Wii also. They're way, way, way off the mark.

On top of that, there should be some kind of additional sales or discounts for people invested in the eshop ecosystem that regularly spend money.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#9
There are a lot of good nes games but I doubt they will come out on the Nintendo store, like dragon warrior 3 and 4. Metal storm, megaman games, adventure island 2,3 and 4, little Samson, Felix the cat, and tiny toons. Ill just have to wait for the snes classics.
 
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#10
The app nonsense probably puts people off and the service as a whole just feels so incomplete and not even half-assed. I don't even think they've implemented everything they said they would. We haven't heard anything about invites and joining other peoples games. What about play appointments? They announced that in the Switch Presentation all the way back in 2017 but nothing has come of it. It would certainly help if I was able to set up play sessions with people on my friends list or talk them even. Seriously the online is a disgrace and to add insult to injury they had the temerity to only offer a meager selection NES games to try and justify the entire thing.
 
Likes: cozomel
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#11
So can we guess that a growing number of people try it out but few decide to subscribe after the first period?

I decided to not subscribe for a couple of reasons. 1) I don't care for monthly "free" games. 2) Cloud saves could've been the saving grace but it's way too limited 3) I'm kind of tired of all the subscriptions these days. 4) The family plan shouldn't exist and should be incorporated into the normal plan.

The one thing I do give Nintendo bonus points is the price tag of €20,-.
 
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Jan 7, 2018
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I don't feel much value in the nes games because they've aged so much and I never owned a nes as a kid so the nostalgia ain't there, and with the snes games I own a snes mini. I'd still prefer snes games over nes. I can see snes games coming next, that is the obvious next step then hopefully N64 and then the gamecube which is very wishful thinking.
 
Dec 11, 2018
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#13
This should only be a good thing. I've got a yearly subscription, but I mostly pay no attention to it. The selection of new games each month has been unexciting, especially since the rate has declined. In addition to games, they need more community features.

On top of that, there should be some kind of additional sales or discounts for people invested in the eshop ecosystem that regularly spend money.
I believe they do. There are points that count toward discounts/purchases, but it's not PS Plus style. You have to actually have decent discounts to even think about stacking another 5% off.

4) The family plan shouldn't exist and should be incorporated into the normal plan.
I don't get this at all. The family plan is the best thing ever. My yearly subscription is like $7, and I wouldn't pay more for it as it is. We're lucky if they don't kill it, because neither Sony nor MS offers such a steep discount.

I think, maybe, you don't understand the family plan. One $35/yr plan divided by up to 8 accounts/Switches (you invite whomever you want) = NSO for waaay less than $1/mo.

I don't feel much value in the nes games because they've aged so much and I never owned a nes as a kid
One of the best games ever made is on there and hasn't aged poorly at all: Super Mario Bros. 3. It's still better than New SMB.
 
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#14
don't get this at all. The family plan is the best thing ever. My yearly subscription is like $7, and I wouldn't pay more for it as it is. We're lucky if they don't kill it, because neither Sony nor MS offers such a steep discount.

I think, maybe, you don't understand the family plan. One $35/yr plan divided by up to 8 accounts/Switches (you invite whomever you want) = NSO for waaay less than $1/mo.
I've got no interest in sharing a subscription with people from different households.

With PS+ and XBLG I don't need a separate subscription for each account on the system. One is enough. (Although I'm not sure about the cloud saves on PS+ being shared.) I can buy one XBLG subscription and every user on the same system will benefit from it. With what I gather from Nintendo's subscription options I need to purchase the family plan in order for multiple users on the same system to play online and have cloud saves.
 
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Maybe people don't want to pay for an online service with horrible lag, friend codes, awful voice chat, no friend messaging or invites, no achievements, no internet browser, no Miiverse, no streaming services and 'free' aged games everybody already played 5000 times? Wtf is Nintendo doing with all that Switch money? Even Wii U online was several times better for free.
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#16
So wait, why would anyone subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online in the first place?

Damn are Nintendo fans the stupidest bunch besides Fortnite players, except last time Nintendo listened to their fan thinking they were the majority they made the Wii U...
 
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With what I gather from Nintendo's subscription options I need to purchase the family plan in order for multiple users on the same system to play online and have cloud saves.
Correct. For now. As prices and plans change, this could also change. However, the XBL way never really made sense to me, but it's nice to have. I'm not complaining. Also, if you're not on an NSO family plan, you're not "doing it right." I can understand your displeasure.

no streaming services
Factually wrong. There's YouTube and Hulu. And others. Don't expect to ever stream music via Spotify while you play a game though.

Damn are Nintendo fans the stupidest bunch
So much holier than thou in this sentence. As if any of the online subscriptions are a good deal. PS Plus is easily the worst and most profitable service. Sony fans are quantifiably the stupidest bunch. (And still I wait for each month's batch of games...)

It's the only way to play Splatoon 2.
I share your pain... Nintendo will have to prove me wrong, but at least the new president is taking aim at actual shortcomings within the company. It's better than hearing complaints about consumers failing to understand or buy the thing.
 
Apr 18, 2018
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#19
My friend and I were discussing this last night. Our hunch is that people are picking up the subscription for 2-3 months for a particular game (Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros, etc) and then letting it expire after they've had their fill of playing that game online. It's Nintendo's own fault for not offering anything to keep customers tied into the system.
 

TLZ

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#20
  • TLZ

    TLZ

stop being slow cheap bastards and dump a bunch of NES and SNES roms on the system. I mean it cant be hard to drop at least all the classic SNES/NES games on the thing ASAP and then another 10 a month at least.

I am sure that would get more people interested if you had 50+ games to start and another 120 at least over the next year.
Well you said it, they are cheap. And they expect the world at their feet for the crumbs they give.
 
Dec 11, 2018
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#21
My friend and I were discussing this last night. Our hunch is that people are picking up the subscription for 2-3 months for a particular game (Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros, etc) and then letting it expire after they've had their fill of playing that game online. It's Nintendo's own fault for not offering anything to keep customers tied into the system.
They're actually making more money from these people, though. While I understand their concern, the games that require online are offering new content updates. The only thing(s) missing here are free Switch games and NSO game discounts that stack with regular sales. That's all that keeps me engaged with PS+.
 
Mar 8, 2018
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stop being slow cheap bastards and dump a bunch of NES and SNES roms on the system. I mean it cant be hard to drop at least all the classic SNES/NES games on the thing ASAP and then another 10 a month at least.

I am sure that would get more people interested if you had 50+ games to start and another 120 at least over the next year.
The drip feeding of games is Nintendo trying to have you renew your subscription when you see more new games are becoming available in the next month. Having all the great classics available instantly would defeat that.

That said I don't think the drip feeding of these old games is enough to encourage most people to maintain their sub.
 
Nov 2, 2017
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As someone that grew up with Nintendo: I don't get how people support this company in 2019. Like, I get that the games are often incredible, but they're not good enough anymore to stomach their blatantly anti-consumer approaches and disdain for their more passionate fans.
 
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Likes: VertigoOA
Jan 15, 2018
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They should’ve never charged a cent to begin with. I don’t mind paying for either psn or Xbox live but nintendo’s approach is beyond incompetent that should at least get basic services functional before thinking of swindling more consumers with more of their overpriced hardware, rehashed software, action figures and crap online solutions.
 
Dec 11, 2018
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They should’ve never charged a cent to begin with. I don’t mind paying for either psn or Xbox live but nintendo’s approach is beyond incompetent that should at least get basic services functional before thinking of swindling more consumers with more of their overpriced hardware, rehashed software, action figures and crap online solutions.
What do you think their margin is for each Switch sold?
 
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#28
Part of the customer base simply doesn't care to pay a sub long term like that. Adding gimmicks and extra features isn't going to convince the people that get it for a month with a new game, then play the shit out of said game until they drop it and let their sub lapse.

If anything, the new improvements should be a discounted tier that only gives access to online play and skips out on the rest of the stuff, if not making the online play totally free (as it should be) and charging extras for the people that actually care about them.

Lesser known games are going to be a total wasteland online after a few months at this rate.
 
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If the online, as it is now, was free, I'd still feel ripped off.
I did feel ripped off. I couldn't believe that basic messaging wasn't available on the system. Then there's the absence of even basic themes and very curiously few avatars... I just don't know what sort of business road blocks exist that are slowing these things from improving.

Still, I find no fault in them charging a fee. The only thing most people get from PS+ is monthly games and discounts. Besides that, there's online games, which shouldn't cost extra to enjoy anyway...
 
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Part of the customer base simply doesn't care to pay a sub long term like that. Adding gimmicks and extra features isn't going to convince the people that get it for a month with a new game, then play the shit out of i said game until they drop it and let their sub lapse.

If anything, the new improvements should be a discounted tier that only gives access to online play and skips out on the rest of the stuff, if not making the online play totally free (as it should be) and charging extras for the people that actually care about them.

Lesser known games are going to be a total wasteland online after a few months at this rate.
I think this misses the objective for what they want though. They want to see the yearly subscriptions so they can measure potential price increases later on. This is actually consumers communicating effectively that it's not good enough.

What I believe is that Nintendo has finally noticed that even with matching Sony in sales, Sony is more than double in total PlayStation revenue. It's about PS+. It's about subscribers who are frequently making purchases through the store and in the games.

This may be a really good thing! I've believed for the past year that they are building out a ton of cloud infrastructure, but we don't know for what. I want to believe it will be improvements to the current system. That was a ton of hiring they did for cloud engineers.
 
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So much holier than thou in this sentence. As if any of the online subscriptions are a good deal. PS Plus is easily the worst and most profitable service. Sony fans are quantifiably the stupidest bunch. (And still I wait for each month's batch of games...)
Indeed none of the online subscription service are a good deal, but PS+ is not a requirement to play online game and you actual get...games. Switch Online is by far a crappier offer that you must be degenerate to subscribe to. But then again Origin premium is no better, Xbox Live neither...
 
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They have no idea what they are doing online, why is it so hard to get Netflix on it at least put some GBA and SNES or better games and charge more yearly if they want but kept the low price option with their crap tier offering. And how long is it gonna take them to fix the home screen 12 icons come on make folders or groups or no limit I stopped buying games because it’s stupid it hasn’t improved at all.
 
Likes: Panajev2001a
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  • Fbh

    Fbh

Nintendo just doesn't offer enough to want to keep a lengthy subscription. I imagine they'll see a spike when big multiplayer releases like Smash or a new Mario Kart arrive but I wonder how many people want to keep a year long subscription of a service that can't match what other consoles were offering over 10 years ago


As someone that grew up with Nintendo: I don't get how people support this company in 2019. Like, I get that the games are often incredible, but they're not good enough anymore to stomach their blatantly anti-consumer approaches and disdain for their more passionate fans.
As you say it's the games. For the longest time Nintendo consoles have been this side device for me, something you pick up to play 1-3 good games a year and that's it.

I have to give it to Nintendo though. Despite their lack of features, anti consumer practices and expensive pricing policies they have managed to keep a massive amount of fans and supporters that are not just Ok with everything they do but jump at any opportunity to defend them. Nintendo is probably the only current gaming company that can release a barebones port of a 4 years old game at a higher price then when it originally released and have people come out and defend it as a good thing
 
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Likes: Panajev2001a
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#38
Not enjoying my subscription, I play with my kids but I'm not seeing the same value in Nintendo as comparable services with Sony and Microsoft.
Sure, I'm only paying a fraction, but even at that it's not worth it.
 
Likes: Ogbert
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#39
Indeed none of the online subscription service are a good deal, but PS+ is not a requirement to play online game and you actual get...games. Switch Online is by far a crappier offer that you must be degenerate to subscribe to. But then again Origin premium is no better, Xbox Live neither...
PS+ is required for online play. There are a few exceptions such as F2P games. I believe that the same goes for Nintendo Online as well, where Fortnite doesn't require an subscription on the Switch iirc.
 
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#40
Nintendo just doesn't offer enough to want to keep a lengthy subscription. I imagine they'll se Spike when big multiplayer like Smash or a new Mario Kart arrive but I wonder how many people want to keep a year long subscription of service that can't match what other consoles were offering over 10 years ago




As you say it's the games. For the longest time Nintendo consoles have been this side device for me, something you pick up to play 1-3 good games a year and that's it.

I have to give it to Nintendo though. Despite their lack of features, anti consumer practices and expensive pricing policies they have managed to keep a massive amount of fans and supporters that are not just Ok with everything they do but jump at any opportunity to defend them. Nintendo is probably the only current gaming company that can release a barebones port of a 4 years old game at a higher price then when it originally released and have people come out and defend it as a good thing
I'm a Nintendo fan but you cannot justify or defend their pricing structure when it comes to their games. No way any game should be at full price from four or five years ago.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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The drip feeding of games is Nintendo trying to have you renew your subscription when you see more new games are becoming available in the next month. Having all the great classics available instantly would defeat that.

That said I don't think the drip feeding of these old games is enough to encourage most people to maintain their sub.
I am not saying put out 100's of games ASAP. But at minimum launch the SNES, and put all the Classic games. They already have the F'n ROMS done for it. It would take almost zero work on their part.

You can still drip feed after that, I would even accept 5-6 games a month(SNES/NES). But if they want to entice people then they need more than 20 or so NES games.
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#42
Why don't they let the most basic feature like playing online being free just like past years and then pull any other feature as a premium service? Unless playing online is the only worthy thing which Nintendo could really offer and anything else they are currently offering is pure bullshit?
 
Jul 31, 2015
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#43
Was so mad that i forgot to disable auto renew. I did a monthly subscription to try out smash but my money would be better spent elsewhere. They need to step up big time for me to re subscribe. snes/n64/gamecube emulation would help immensely
 
Nov 11, 2018
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#44
Well it's good that they admit they need to do more, how much more remains to be seen. I don't know about you, but I was kind of glad Nintendo went the subscription route with online this time around. Subscription based services put more pressure on companies to improve because there's always the fear of loosing customers. With just how much Nintendo has gotten right with the Switch thus far, I'm willing to hold them to it for now and see where they'll take this service. If a year passes, and nothing's really changed or added, then something is up.
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#45
PS+ is required for online play. There are a few exceptions such as F2P games. I believe that the same goes for Nintendo Online as well, where Fortnite doesn't require an subscription on the Switch iirc.
True but at least you get...actual content. Actually I unsubscribed ages ago when I discovered I didn't have access to PS+ game when unsubscribe but I believe they changed that.
 
Jan 13, 2018
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Yes you had a choice: not play Splatoon 2. I can't believe you have to pay to play these games you already paid for online...
nah, I already played that game hundreds of hours on Wii U. 400+ hours on Switch. It's my favorite online game. I am not happy about it, but clearly I would pay $20 a year to play it online. The rest of the service is a joke though.
 
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True but at least you get...actual content. Actually I unsubscribed ages ago when I discovered I didn't have access to PS+ game when unsubscribe but I believe they changed that.
They didnt. If you unsub, you lose access to all the PS+ games and online play. I wonder what they'll do about it in the future. If i got ps+ games on the ps3, will i have to continue to pay that sub just to have access to them, considering that they wont add any more for the console? To me, that's a rip-off. I don't care if i can get some "free" games, if thy aren't really mine to keep, just to rent, there's no reason for me to pay for that.