The Nintendo Switch has been out for a few months now, and modders have been busy taking inventory of the system’s modules, applets, and archives. Switch Brew, a wiki site dedicated to the technical details of the Switch for the purpose of home brewing games, recently revealed that the portable console has an application called “flog,” which turned out to be an NES emulator.
Although the emulator is on every Switch console, it is not currently being used. However, we know Nintendo plans to launch a subscription service called 'Nintendo Switch Online' and once that's in place, the emulator is sure to see a lot of action.
Not only is Switch Online going to provide a storefront and online multiplayer, but membership to the new service will also include a compilation of classic titles. Further, Nintendo says the updated NES games will also feature online multiplayer functionality.
The company had originally intended to offer a classic title every month that was free to play for that month only, but now as long as you have a subscription to the service, you will have access to all the available NES games. So far Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario have been confirmed to make the list.
Nintendo Switch Online was supposed to launch this fall but Nintendo has delayed the launch until 2018. For those currently enjoying multiplayer games, this is actually good news. Current multiplayer titles will be free to play until the service launches after which a membership will be required.
While Nintendo taking away free online gaming is a bummer, they are only following the current business model set by Sony and Microsoft. A Switch Online subscription is expected to cost about $20 per year, which is a third the cost of the PlayStation and Xbox subscriptions. Considering that memberships include the NES classic titles and discounts on select games, the $20/year fee doesn't sound as bad. There's also going to be a monthly $4 option, which is an affordable way to try out the service to see if you like it.