February 2, 2017 2:00 am JST

Nintendo to equip Switch with upgraded web services

VR also being considered for the new console, chief says

OSAKA -- Nintendo will offer enhanced paid online services for the upcoming Switch game console, the head of the Japanese company told The Nikkei on Wednesday.

The upgrades will likely apply to multiplayer online gaming and the library of downloadable classic games, and carry an annual fee of 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen ($17.60 to $26.40). "With paid [services], we will be able to fully commit to customers," said Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima.

Online multiplayer and other services are available for free on the predecessor Wii U console. For the Switch, Nintendo is introducing a smartphone chat app as well as monthly downloads of classic games. The Switch will hit stores in March.

Kimishima also said Nintendo is "studying" adding virtual reality functionality to the new console. "If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another," he said, without providing a time frame.

Nintendo is planning to release two or three smartphone games in the fiscal year ending March 2018, the president also said. The launch date for the "Animal Crossing" series will be pushed back to fiscal 2017 from the current financial year.

(Nikkei)

Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Japan

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