There may yet be hope for Nintendo in the online sphere.
Even though it is a terrible service, Nintendo Switch Online has gotten off to a really good start, with 8 million subscribers to its name already. However, in a Q&A session with investors, Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed that Nintendo recognizes the need to improve the service, which is in line with reports we have received recently that claim Nintendo is looking at improving the state of the service.
The reason Nintendo recognizes the need to do this is that apparently of late, more and more people have started to subscribe to the service on a monthly basis rather than an annual one, which means the onus is on the service to actually be good enough to be able to retain those subscribers.
“We are not disclosing details by each membership plan but among consumers who have purchased memberships, however, a growing percentage is now opting for shorter plans like the one-month membership,” Furukawa said. “This is in contrast to the situation around the end of October of last year, when we reported that over half were opting for a 12-month family or individual membership.
”It is critical that these members want to continue using the service for a long time rather than letting it expire, and for that we need to build relationships with consumers and enrich the content. With this in mind, we are currently planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis. We will announce more details as soon as we are ready.”
I assume the SNES games that were leaked as part of the service a few weeks ago may be one such improvement, but you know what would be better? Adding basic functionality like being able to message your friends and send them invites. Having system level party chat. Things like that.
Hopefully, Nintendo continues to improve the service. I have been very critical of it so far, but if they continue to work at it, there’s no reason why it couldn’t at least be well worth the $20 that they charge for it, if nothing else.