As showcased during a Splatoon 2-themed Nintendo Direct, the Nintendo Switch Online app will also have game-specific features such as, in Splatoon 2's case, access to in-game item shops or statistics from a player's mobile device. It's coming out soon, too, since Nintendo announced it'll be available on July 21.
The goal of the app, per Nintendo's website, is to enhance the online experience for compatible Switch games.
Nintendo Direct's Splatoon 2 feature last night showcased some very cool new weapons and even cooler new moves, including the jet pack and an impenetrable zorb ball. You'll need to download the free demo of the game in advance, but you'll be able to play on the 15th July 2017, nearly a week before it's out on the full launch on the 21st.
The app will carry limited functions and compatibility upon its launch, but it is expected to support more games and offer more services as Nintendo further develops Nintendo Switch Online.
The app appears on the same day as the paint-based multiplayer shooter Splatoon 2, which sees players fight using paint guns to take over a battle map. Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2 notwithstanding, it will be interesting to see how many third-party games outside of Rocket League and Minecraft truly implement online play on the Nintendo Switch. Here are the Wii U games that must come to Nintendo Switch. It looks like friends can be invited from your social media contacts, your Nintendo Switch Friends List, or from a list of people you've battled against previously. For now, however, Nintendo is letting owners test some of those features for free, at least until the paid service launches in full next year. Nintendo will charge $7.99 for three months and $19.99 for the annual subscription. Once in a room, everyone in the lobby can chat together; once the match begins, however, players are automatically split into teams so you can't get sneaky and listen in on their finely honed strategies. Splatoon 2 will arrive worldwide on July 21. All you have to do is download the free demo in eShop on your Switch console, and choose a team before the Splatfest kicks off.