Nintendo Switch Online Details Announced - Requires Exclusive Amiibo for Connection

Photo by Anthony Ashley

Nintendo’s new online subscription service was announced this week, boasting features like voice chat and your choice of classic titles. Today, they’ve released new details about their subscription availability and how you’ll be able to get it - off the store shelf in clamshell packaging, and in limited quantities.

Starting in 2018, Nintendo’s online service will be accessible exclusively through a new line of Amiibos, available in 1-month, 3-month, and 12-month styles. While amiibos are a relatively new addition to Nintendo’s lineup, they’ve quickly proven to be highly sought-after accessories, providing loyal fans not only with a sleek toy but also bonus in-game features, with online play being their newest bonus offering.

Nintendo’s online division lead Tetsuji Harada explained in their press release:

The online experience of playing with friends is irreplaceable, but we don’t see ourselves as making games but toys, and we always strive to retain a toy-like quality to all our Nintendo products. That’s why we’ve tied our new online subscription with a real-life amiibo, so that even when someone is not playing online, their subscription can still be fun and be shared with friends.

Variations on models will be available for those who only want particular services, like voice chat or access to specific classic games. Nintendo has already finished manufacturing of their yearly subscription lineups for 2018 and 2019, which isn’t difficult to imagine because they’ve announced there will only be five thousand internet-enabled units available each year. Said Tetsuji, “Any more than five thousand subscribers would really stretch our server beyond its limit. Of course, it would be silly to think all five thousand people would be on at once - the demand just isn’t there yet.”