Nintendo plans to add VR to Switch, online service price revealed
Platform holder will introduce virtual reality to upcoming console when longer sessions are possible
Virtual reality will be coming to the Nintendo Switch - just as soon as the company is convinced people can play it for longer periods of time.
The news comes from an interview between Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima and Nikkei, as translated by Dr Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy Kantan Games. According to Toto's tweets, Kimishima said Nintendo is studying VR now but will hold off until users can "play for hours on end without problems".
Nintendo has been extremely cautious about virtual reality, partly due to ongoing reports of nausea and headaches among early adopters. The platform holder's US president Reggie Fils-Aime also said the technology is "not fun" and "not social".
However, patents emerged back in December for a virtual reality accessory designed to be used with the Nintendo Switch, suggesting the platform holder is at least preparing to make its new console VR-enabled.
Meanwhile, Kimishima has also detailed prices for Switch's paid online service, suggesting Nintendo plans to ask for 2,000 to 3,000 yen per year.
3) Nintendo plans to introduce yearly and monthly paid plans for the online service. Again, price range is 2-3,000 yen/year ($17.70-$26.50).— Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc. (@serkantoto) February 2, 2017
As Toto observes, that translates to between $17.70 and $26.50, or £13.95 and £20.89 for the UK.
Little is know about the paid service yet, save that it will be required for online multiplayer titles and that subscribers will receive a free NES or SNES game every month. Some of the latter will also have online multiplayer added.
While the price point makes Switch's paid service cheaper than those of PlayStation and Xbox, it will be interesting to see whether consumers deem there to be enough value to signing up. Both PlayStation and Xbox also offer free games every month, often major AAA releases from the past year, and thanks to strong third-party support the number of online multiplayer titles subscribers gain access to is much higher.
The Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on March 3rd, and VG247 reports that Kimishima is confident it will reverse the platform holder's recent fortunes, with the president claiming Nintendo's fiscal performance will only improve from here.
He said the Switch's unique features mean it could sell as well as the Wii - which means Nintendo is targeting sales of around 100m. Regardless of whether or not it reaches that, hopes are high that it beats Wii U's disappointing lifetime sales of 13.5m.