In context: When it comes to online gaming subscriptions in the console arena, Nintendo's Switch Online service wasn't exactly the most compelling option around upon launch. It had no voice chat functionality, it was plagued with technical issues, and cloud saves weren't compatible with every game.
These problems, among many others, led some gamers to question the value of the service. Though it isn't too expensive at $3.99 a month, users had already been playing Switch games online for free for over a year. While Nintendo did warn them ahead of time that this free access would not be permanent, it still doesn't feel great to have access to your multiplayer-focused games slapped behind an additional paywall after purchase.
When you put aside these issues, though, Nintendo Switch Online does have one major redeeming quality: it grants you access to an ever-expanding list of classic SNES and NES titles at no additional cost. This benefit alone won't necessarily sell everybody on the service (particularly younger gamers), but with a 45-game-strong roster of classic titles on launch, it certainly helps the value proposition considerably.
That roster has already expanded once to 75 titles (including the likes of Ice Climbers, The Legend of Zelda, and Kirby's Dream Land 3), and soon, it will be growing again.
Some of the upcoming SNES titles set to re-launch for Switch Online subscribers include Star Fox 2, Kirby Super Star, Super Punch Out!, and Breath of Fire II. There will also be a couple of NES additions: the popular 90's action RPG Crystalis and sidescrolling shooter Journey to Silius, to be specific.
If you enjoy fully immersing yourself in the retro gaming experience, you may be pleased to hear that Nintendo's Switch-compatible NES gamepads are now on sale for $30. This deal includes two battery-powered wireless controllers, and it will be sticking around until the beginning of February. Unfortunately, the discount is exclusively available to Nintendo Switch Online members -- everyone else will have to pay full price ($60).
If you haven't done so already, you can sign up for a free Nintendo Switch Online trial right here. Once that trial is up, you have a few options to continue using the service. First, you can pay up for the $3.99/month plan we mentioned before, or opt for one of two primary alternatives: a $7.99 three-month plan and a $20 annual subscription.
There's also a $35, 12-month family membership that lets you share your subscription with up to seven other people, but this is obviously not ideal for solo users.