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Switch Online subscribers pass 8 million

Nintendo's new paid online service swells as Switch consoles break 32 million

By Derek Strickland from Feb 4, 2019 @ 9:20 CST

The premium Switch Online subscription service now has over 8 million paid members, Nintendo confirms.


Nintendo's latest fiscal year earnings report is chock-full of information, and company president Shuntaro Furukawa isn't shy about metrics. Throughout the document Mr. Furukawa not only broke down the Switch's meteoric 9.41 million holiday sales and outlined Nintendo's three business pillars, but also confirmed Switch Online adoption is quite high.

Since launching in September 2018, the Nintendo Switch's paid Switch Online service has amassed 8 million paid subscribers. This means 25% of Switch owners have bought into the service in fourth months' time. That number should grow as Nintendo promises to expand Switch Online with more content and features, and there's strong evidence SNES games will be added at some point.

Nintendo Switch Online has had a good start, with the number of subscribers surpassing 8 million accounts not including free trials," Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said in a presentation with shareholders.

"In keeping with our goal of providing Nintendo Switch owners with 'More Games. More Features. More Fun,' we are working on continuing to expand the service offerings."

The service's low-cost $20 a year price point is attractive and accessible to Switch owners, playing right into the main selling points of the system itself. The service offers benefits like online multiplayer in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2, a way to back up game saves to the cloud, and an ever-growing library of classic NES games that can be played at home or on-the-go.

Switch Online will continue evolving as the Switch continues selling.

The handheld-console hybrid has now sold more than 32 million consoles worldwide, and the online service is an incredibly important piece to Nintendo's long-term engagement strategy, which facilitates game sales, DLC, online multiplayer social interaction, and possibly even game streaming at some point.

New features such as SNES games and streaming could hike up Switch Online's price tag, or fork it with subscription add-ons similar to premium channel add-ons on Hulu. Nintendo has yet to make any official announcements.


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