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Several years ago, I decided to stop my Xbox Live Gold membership. At the time, I was using it mostly to play Street Fighter IV online via my Xbox 360. It was cheaper for me to buy the game again on Steam than it was to pay for a year of Xbox Live Gold, so that's what I did. Now it looks like I'll be paying for online play again very soon, because the launch of Nintendo Switch Online has been confirmed for September.

We had suspected as much since Nintendo said this was the case back in January, but you know how these timelines can go sometimes.

The Nintendo of Canada Twitter account sent out an update last night saying, "#NintendoSwitchOnline will launch the second half of September. The service provides access to online play & Save Data Cloud backup in compatible games & a growing library of NES titles with added online play."

This doesn't provide us with an exact date, but it does give us about a two-week window for when we should expect the service to roll out. This will also give us a few months to get acquainted with the service before the servers get bombarded with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players. Maybe you'll use it to play Minecraft online with your Xbox One buddies in the interim.

While there are no plans for a virtual console, the online service also includes a "growing library of NES titles with added online play." We're anticipating about 20 NES titles at launch, including Tennis, Super Mario Bros., Balloon Fighter, Dr. Mario, and Ice Climber. Cloud saves are kind of a big deal too.

Here in Canada, individual membership to the Nintendo Switch online service will cost:

  • $4.99 for 1 month
  • $9.99 for 3 months
  • $24.99 for 12 months

Alternatively, you can get a family membership for $44.99 for 12 months. This allows for up to eight people to join a family group, all of whom will then have access to the online service. These are all in Canadian dollars, of course.

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