Last week, Nintendo announced out of nowhere that its online service is launching September of this year. But that’s quite some time away, considering that games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have been running fine without a paid online subscription, so it begs the question why wait another 8 months to launch the platform? I believe that when the Online Service launches it will launch with a flagship title, a game so exciting that you have to pay through the Service’s paywall just to get a chance to play the game online. So, I decided to collate my theories on what could launch with the New online service slated for release this October.
Smash Bros. Switch
The past few Nintendo Directs have brought us multiple announcements regarding Wii U games being ported to the Switch, from Bayonetta 2 to Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze we’ve had a whole host of games get a second chance on Switch. Now with these Wii U ports almost matching, sometimes even outselling, their original sales it seems inevitable that, for now at least, we’re going to see a lot more Wii U games come to Switch. This leads me to two big speculations, the first is the most obvious and that is, of course, Smash Bros on switch. Bringing a simple Wii U Port of the hit game to switch would sell an unbelievable amount of copies, the couch co-op focused Switch is perfect for games of this genre (Just look at Brawlout) and its reception would match its sales. I doubt that this will be a new Smash game just because of the current lack of a game director but Smash Wii U on Switch with one or two new features (Like a fighter from Arms or a Mario Oddessy stage) is in my opinion very likely. There’s no discussion on whether Smash will release on Switch, instead, it’s when will it release and to me launching with the online service the franchise relies so heavily on seems perfect.
The second of the likely Wii U ports is the incredibly popular Super Mario Maker. Mario Maker has already seen one portable console run on the 3DS but it was severely criticised for its lack of online compatibility, releasing it again on Switch will solve that issue instantly. Mario Maker is a fantastic creation studio that only has the potential to expand so a new version of the game, with say another Mario game theme added to it would be the perfect repackage for the 3-year-old game. However, I also don’t think it’s too far-fetched to say that we could see a repeat of what happened with Splatoon, in that a straight sequel will be made instead of a port. Either way, the Switch’s touchscreen, portability and huge install base makes me feel like we’re going to see some form of a Mario Maker game appear on Switch and tie in launch with the online service could be a solid selling point for Nintendo
It’s been almost a year now since the launch of the Switch and not once have we heard the word Virtual Console come up beside launching with the online service. It was originally stated that every month you would get a singular NES title to play for the month (which interchanges every month). But it wouldn’t surprise me, after the fan disappointment of that announcement, that things got changed up a little. Maybe we get a GameCube game, an N64 game or just something completely unique to the online service. Not only would this increase the value of the service it would also please a huge amount of the service’s userbase and bring a whole generation of games to a new audience. But there are many other ways the virtual console could be implemented into the switch, one simply being making it exclusive to online members. Having the virtual console only be accessed by Nintendo’s online service would be the perfect ploy to get people to buy in (especially with its deceivingly cheap price point), I know personally that would sell me instantly on it. They could even bring back multiplayer to virtual console games, if say Smash Brother Brawl released on the Virtual console it would be a neat feature to relaunch its online service with the subscription, pleasing both old and new fans alike.
It’s clear that Nintendo is wanting to move into video streaming market as well as games and while I believe this to a be a pretty obvious prediction for the service it’s likely going to be a big push when it’s announced. Netflix, YouTube and other huge video streaming services will most likely launch with the service. If we assume North Americas release of Hulu on the switch to be a test for whether they would work its not too much to assume that subscription services like Netflix will start to drop as well. To go with that we may finally see the launch of Internet Browser which is an inevitable feature to the console.
Now while those theories are the most likely I have a few far-fetched ones, starting off with Metroid. Now with Metroid being as big as it is and us still yet to receive a concrete release date for Metroid Prime 4 could literally drop at any time. But with it being a first-person shooter game it wouldn’t blow my mind if they added in a sort of competitive multiplayer akin to Bethesda’s Doom. It would make perfect sense given the style of game Metroid is and would be a huge reveal and selling point for the online service. Speaking of FPS’s October is usually around the time that the latest Call of Duty game gets released and it’s highly likely that we could see a push of online if the next COD game is released on Switch (Which seems likely considering we’ve seen the latest COD games on Both DS and Wii). Finally, with Red Dead Redemption 2’s sudden push back to October there is the slimmest chance that well see it on Switch with the rumoured Red Dead Online mode being pushed at the forefront. It’s the least likely of the lot because it will probably be way to powerful a game to run on the switch itself but i cant help but dream that we may be able to play Red dead online on a train one day.
Of course, this is entirely speculation based and for all we know nothing may release with the service but with users sceptical about paying for something they already have for free Nintendo will have too do something to get people excited about this service. Whether that be a new release or a simple throwback to virtual console, all will be revealed in the coming months.
What would you like to see launch with the new Nintendo Switch Online service? Let us know in the comments below!