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Will Nintendo emphasize online play more on Switch to sell their paid service? [roundtable]
 
Will they?!

Looking at the announced games, I think a case could certainly be made that they already are. And it makes sense, right? Online subscriptions offer a stable flow of sweet, sweet cash, and it's definitely in Nintendo's interest to keep you off the wagon. They're calling the launch period a 'trial', but, really, Nintendo's just giving you the first hit for free.

Maybe Mario Party will be the ultimate litmus test?

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Posted: 01/18/17, 05:42:51  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/17, 05:42:41
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Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
Probably not. My guess is that they see they can charge money for it and think that people will just pay it to use their service without them having to change much on their end.

Maybe some people will, I don't know.

I think the app solution kind of shows where they are at when it comes to online services they offer.
Posted: 01/18/17, 09:11:51
It's hard to imagine they'll emphasize it much when it's not going to be fully ready at launch, so... no, probably not.
Posted: 01/18/17, 15:48:10
It's hard to tell with the lack of details, they haven't revealed how much it will cost and what that price includes. If all you get it one ROM rental per month and an app on your smart phone that allows you to do voice chat in *some* games then do they really think they can charge $60 a year? I'd say of course not if they weren't charging more than Microsoft and Sony for the hardware. I would have imagined that Wii U underperforming would have made them scrappy and competitive but they still seem to think they can command uber high prices for all of their hardware, games, services, etc. and at the same time offer much less than the competition.

One thing I'm almost positive of: I'm not going to pay a cent to unless they offer a complete package that has feature parity with PS+, which is already not that great of deal considering the quality of free monthly games has been steadily declining over the years.
Posted: 01/18/17, 16:05:30
Nah, I'm expecting a mess from Switch's online features. It's Nintendo, after all!
Posted: 01/18/17, 16:40:10
Maybe I worded this poorly. I'm not really talking about features, or whatever. By "emphasize online play", I meant "release more games that feature online multiplayer capability". So far, it seems to me that the percentage of big games with online multiplayer is higher than on their previous systems. Now, that could be due to the breakout success of Splatoon, or wanting to provide early adopters with some leggy titles, or just the changing landscape, but I think that an argument could be made that Nintendo is enabling online play in titles which might have been local-only in previous generations. Like ARMS.

Personally, it's the local multiplayer capability that has me most excited. I really hope they set a standard for flexible networking options with Mario Kart and Splatoon. Like, I hope that you can play eight-player Mario Kart on four LANned switches. And I hope that the local multi is vastly improved for Splatoon. It has a lot of potential.

@deathly_hallows
Y'know, if they charge $60, I'd agree that it would be pricey for what they've shown, but why does everyone assume that they will? It seems really weird to judge the value proposition without knowing the actual price. What if they charge $20 a year? (What if they charge $20 a month?!) Like, would you really not pay A CENT for online play?

People have really been going apeshit about the prices for Bomberman and Street Fighter, too, even though, as far as I know, they're just placeholders. (Regarding 1-2-Switch, though, $50 does seem fairly high, unless the final game is meatier that what we've seen, with a Wario Ware-esque framework.)

Anyway, what do you guys think about the whole 'online-enabled' VC thing? There hasn't been much discussion of this, but it's a pretty surprising statement. What kind of games would receive this treatment? Will it include hotseat multiplayer games like Super Mario Bros.? Will it be focused on multiplayer-centric games like Smash N64? Will they make any further hacks to the rom? (Probably not.) Supposedly, NERD did fantastic work on the NES Classic. Maybe they'll really kick out the jams on Switch VC.

I think that I'd MOST like to see GBA and DS games get these online enhancements on the Virtual Console. There are so many great multiplayer modes which went largely unplayed, due to the logistical hassle. It would be awesome if NERD made the local multiplayer layer work through the internet. What if we could play 4-player Boktai online? Or games that aren't accessible anymore, like Mario Kart DS? OR YOSHI'S TOUCH AND GO??
Posted: 01/18/17, 16:48:50  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/17, 16:53:46
Doubt it, but who knows. I think Nintendo did a pretty solid job with the Wii U games that were online multiplayer, though I only messed around with them a few times because online play isn't my thing. I prefer local multiplayer.
Posted: 01/18/17, 17:48:42
@Anand Hmm, yeah maybe. ARMS being online is nice, but I think Wii Sports Club was all online too, right? But yeah, Nintendo's been trending towards more games with online play. I'm not expecting Super Mario Odyssey or Mario Party to have online play, though. Fingers crossed for Odyssey, at least.


As for the online enabled VC, I think/hope Nintendo will focus on games where you take turns often. Dependable real-time multiplayer is tough to get right, and I don't really trust Nintendo's ability (or anyone's) to patch it into legacy NES/SNES games well. At the same time, something like Super Mario Bros. would be rough, as you can wait a long time for the other player to die before you get a chance. Golf-style games where players take turns shooting would be best, I think. Kirby's Dream Course would obviously be perfect for it, as Kirby's Dream Course is perfect for everything.

Real-time games where you don't immediately/directly affect the other player or environment would be nice, too: Tetris Attack and the like.
Posted: 01/18/17, 18:15:05  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/17, 18:15:22
Well we gotta be paying for something.

It's hella weird for them to charge for something that people give them tons of shit for. And they well know online isn't their strong suit.

I'm fine with a fee, it is what it is, but if they're now charging for it when they weren't before, I'm gonna assume there's a reason for it beyond finding an excuse to milk fans and make more money.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.
Posted: 01/18/17, 18:46:05
@nate38
Wii Sports Club was online, yeah. I wonder if they'll shop it around again. Switch Sports! The Wii U version had weird calibration issues. Freakin' Namco!

I didn't even think about Mario having the possibility of Multiplayer, since the levels are more open. What if different Marios just populated your world, but you didn't have to interact with them directly? I dunno.

As for the online-enabled VC games, I really wonder how much effort they're going to put into them. At a certain point, why not just port the game? I could see them putting a fair bit of effort into the biggest games, at least, since something like Super Mario Bros. 3 probably sells thousands of times more than... I dunno, City Connection.
Posted: 01/18/17, 19:01:38
Anand said:

City Connection.

TRIGGERED
Posted: 01/18/17, 19:10:19  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/17, 19:10:48
Haha, I never actually encountered City Connection during my childhood of renting shitty NES games.

I played the shit out of Rambo, Jaws, Top Gun, and Street Fighter 2010, though!
Posted: 01/18/17, 19:15:44  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/17, 19:17:19
I certainly think they should, to help justify the cost, unless it's like $20/year. It would be great to have stuff like Mario platformers and Mario Party online.
Posted: 01/18/17, 22:10:26
I don't think I realized that online matchmaking would be done in the smartphone app too??? Chat I can... kind of understand, as it's a potential gatekeeper from allowing young kids who don't have their own smartphone from hearing online chat. Kind of a crap implementation, but I at least get the perspective.

But matchmaking??? What does that mean for someone who wants to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that doesn't have a smartphone???
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:16:48
@Kal-El814

I think that they are just SOL.

It really seems like anything online related is through the app. The screens of the Switch UI don't seem to have an icon for a friends list or anything of the sort.
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:20:24
I wonder what permission the app will want to access on the phone that will be intresting to see
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:23:14
@Joshwaahh

True.

I just cannot imagine charging for online play AND gating it behind a smartphone. Reasonably priced, decent smartphones still cost upwards of a couple hundred bucks. Lord, I really hope this is just a bad communication breakdown.
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:28:18
I mean...I'm willing to give this smartphone-focused online thing a shot. If you look at it from a certain angle, it kind of almost starts to make a lick of sense. But I'm expecting it to be kind of a fiasco.
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:36:07  - Edited by 
 on: 01/19/17, 05:37:00
@nate38

It seems to make sense from a portable perspective. At least that's what Reggie was trying to convey in that recent interview. But if you're playing online whilst out in the wild, then this thing must have 3/4G or whatever. So you should STILL be able to run a voice chat app through the machine, right?

Such a weird choice.
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:47:29
@Shadowlink

It doesn't have either of those things. AFAIK the device only has 802.11ac
Posted: 01/19/17, 05:50:27
@Shadowlink @Stephen
It only really makes sense to me as, you don't have to carry your headphones/earbuds around if you want to voice chat on the go, assuming this thing can use your device's speakerphone as input/output. But that sound quality's gonna be horrible.

Wait a minute...maybe this is an awkward attempt at Wii Speak / GamePad Chat for Sm4sh and MK8 etc. all over again? Nintendo wants the whole family to monitor what little Johnny is hearing, as they always have, so they route voice chat through a smart device. The game audio won't play through the smartphone app, so using earbuds/headphones could interfere with gameplay, encouraging the player to use speakerphone. Plus, I dunno if anyone else feels this way, but I'd feel awkward being tethered to my phone by earbuds while playing a game at home, so I'm more likely to go speakerphone.

I mean, it doesn't make much sense to me...which sounds a lot like Nintendo!
Posted: 01/19/17, 06:06:17  - Edited by 
 on: 01/19/17, 06:07:37
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