Experts project Nintendo will sell 40 Million units by the end of 2020. This would make it worse than the Wii in sales, but well ahead of the Wii U, which only sold 13 million units. Gamestop’s director of merchandising Eric Bright has even said, “[The Nintendo Switch] could eclipse the Wii.” after examining the system’s first couple of weeks on the market.In this series, we explore how the Switch can be a mega success comparable to or better than the Wii. Each article explores how Nintendo can compete in different spaces to help the Switch beat the Wii. In the last article, we examined the Joy-Cons and how other peripherals could enhance people’s experience with the Nintendo Switch and identified the potential to bring new tech to the system. This article we will finally take a look at Nintendo’s first paid subscription and online service, looking at what we know and what Nintendo should provide subscribers.
Paid Online Play
Online Play Quality
Monthly Virtual Console Download
- Make a few games available each month, and each subscriber can pick which one they want to try. If they just have one available a lot of people will ignore it if the game isn’t something they are interested in. If too many are available, it will be hard to make the added online features worthwhile.
- Make the online features useful and straightforward. We don’t want the game to be different just because it features online play. Nintendo would be smart to only put it into games that supported local multiplayer when they were originally used. And even to leave the extra features out of solo player titles.
- Make an awards or badges system. Gamers love to show off to one another, and achievement badges are a great way to do this. Nintendo could combine this with something similar to the Wii U’s Miiverse to give badges a Nintendo touch and let players use them in messages as decoration.
Nintendo has not yet revealed how much the subscription service will cost. It is a rumor the online service will cost 2,000 – 3,000 yen annually in Japan. Direct conversion puts that between $17.92 and $26.88 which will likely become somewhere between $25 and $30 dollars when the service officially launches. This is a spectacular price point! Both Microsoft and Sony’s online services cost $60 dollars currently. If Nintendo’s online service is reliable, this price point could be enough to convince serious online plays to switch to the Nintendo Switch, so long as there is an extensive library of competitive games offered on the system.
Premium and Limited Service
With the currently promised features and the normal low price point, Nintendo could benefit by eventually releasing a premium subscription with added features. This service could be priced at $50 or even $60 annually. To make the new price point worthwhile Nintendo could make a library of Virtual Console games available in a Netflix-style format. The available titles could change from time to time with some titles being added and some being taken away each month. Of course, these would have the online capabilities of the monthly download, and unlike the monthly download, they would probably require an internet connection to be played. Likewise, Nintendo could introduce a limited service for only $15 dollars (at least $10 cheaper than their standard service) that would just allow for online play.