More than a year after its release, the details of Nintendo Switch Online have officially surfaced, and it’s bitterly disappointing.

The service will launch in September of this year starting at $3.99 (R52) for a single month, $7.99 (R105) for three months, and $19.99 (R262) for a full year.

There’s also the option of a $34.99 (R459) family membership allowing up to seven users to benefit.

The biggest draw here will probably be cloud saves which we will learn more about before September. Putting aside the frustration of needing to pay for such a basic feature, there’s no mention of any other kind of save backup. Apart from buying a second Switch and doing a user transfer, this is your only option.

You’ll also be getting the ability to play games online. The provided FAQ gives us hope that not every online game will require this paid subscription as it mentions checking certain titles to look for this requirement.

Next up is voice chat and if you thought they had listened to the community and ditched the phone app, you’re wrong because it’s still required.

There will also be discounts and special offers for members so you can chip away at that Switch premium you’ve been paying for certain titles.

Finally, the service will be launching with only 20 NES games with the promise of more to be added later. These will be enhanced with online play and voice chat. Right now half of the games have been revealed:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Donkey Kong
  • Dr. Mario
  • Ice Climber
  • Mario Bros.
  • Soccer
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tennis
  • The Legend of Zelda

You can read more about Nintendo Switch Online on the new landing page. The local pricing in rands above was provided by the South African Nintendo site that was just updated. It seems we’re paying a bit more on top of the current market conversion rate.

This lacklustre announcement only compounds the Switch’s lack of very basic features such as media streaming / playback and even folders. This console’s hardware has generated a lot of goodwill in the community, but it seems to be stripped away at every corner with the software.