Nintendo is finally letting you play classic games on its hot new console

Nintendo has unveiled plans for its long-awaited online subscription service. The service will let gamers pay to have access to older Nintendo games and play them on its new console, the Nintendo Switch.

The new service, known as Nintendo Switch Online, is slated to come in 2018 and will let Nintendo Switch owners play a "wide variety of classic games," according to the Kyoto, Japan-based video game giant.


A one-month membership will cost $4, 3 months will cost $8 and a full year will cost $20. "You’ll be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing in with your Nintendo Account," Nintendo wrote on its website. "Online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until our paid online service launches in 2018."

The first three games Nintendo showed would be available are "Super Mario Bros. 3," "Dr. Mario" and "Balloon Fight," but more are coming.

The company said that users "can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription," in a statement provided to Kotaku.

Nintendo added that for now, the service would only include NES games, but "Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time."

Previous Nintendo consoles, including the Wii and Wii U, have access to Nintendo's Virtual Console service, a digital storefront which let users buy older games to play on these systems. The Switch does not have this and Nintendo did not discuss whether it would be bringing the Virtual Console to the Switch, or if the online subscription service was intended to replace it.

This news follows the continued excitement surrounding the Switch, which the company has pinned its hopes on.

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal indicated Nintendo is fighting with other electronics makers, including Apple, for parts, as demand continues to stay strong after the March 3 launch of the Switch.

In a report to investors earlier this year, Nintendo said it sold 2.74 million Switch units, a surprisingly strong figure, despite being launched in March.

Video game developer Capcom recently said it would be bringing "Monster Hunter XX" to the Switch. Other third-party developers, including EA have noticed the surprising success of the console, with EA CEO Andrew P. Wilson telling investors EA "continue[s] to be bullish on [Switch]."