Ahead of E3 Nintendo has announced new details for the Switch’s paid online service, now delayed to 2018.

Longtime Nintendo fans may be annoyed that they will soon have to pay for access to online gaming, but Nintendo is offering the service at an attractive price alongside plenty of exciting incentives to subscribe, including eShop discounts. Obviously the biggest incentive to subscribe is the ability to play online. Currently this option is free, but once the paid service begins “most games will require a paid online service subscription.” (Nintendo has confirmed though that this will not affect Wii U or Nintendo 3DS systems.)

The subscription will also feature an online lobby and voice chat. These additions are connected to the “dedicated smart device app” that will be released in a limited version this summer. Nintendo explains that the app will “connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches”. These are certainly exciting features that will enhance the experience for many Switch owners. It will be interesting to see if they showcase these services during this year’s E3, which will be headlined by Splatoon 2 and ARMS tournaments.

Perhaps the most interesting (and potentially decisive) feature of the online service is the addition of an “ongoing access” to classic games. The service will allow subscribers to  “play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like”.There is also an addition of “added online play” which could create a lot of appeal for a classic multiplayer game. So far it has been confirmed that NES games will be available at launch and will include titles such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. Nintendo has announced that “Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.” Whether or not this feature is replacing a Switch form of the Virtual Console is also unclear.

The Switch has been a huge success so far, and it will be interesting to see how the addition of this service impacts the demand for the console. Hopefully the service helps the Switch reach the sales figures which Nintendo are hoping for. In the details that have been released so far there is a lot to be excited about. What are you most looking forward to?