Nintendo Reveals Details About Pending Switch Online Subscription Service

Nintendo late May 7 revealed details about its pending Switch Online subscription service enabling users to play games online compatible with Switch handheld device games.

The information follows news incoming CEO Shuntaro Furukawa wants to recapture the Pokémon Go smartphone game craze of 2016 with a new platform of smartphone apps.

The platform will also offer classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games with added online functionality, back up save data for most games and use additional features for the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app that will enhance the online experience for compatible games.

Individual monthly memberships will range from $3.99; three months for $7.99 and 12 months for $19.99. Family membership (12 months) costs $34.99, enabling up to eight account holders to use the Nintendo Switch Online service, even on different systems.

Classic NES games will initially include 20 games, with more added on a regular basis. At launch, previously announced games Balloon FightDr. Mario and Super Mario Bros. 3 will be joined by Donkey KongIce ClimberThe Legend of ZeldaMario Bros.SoccerSuper Mario Bros. and Tennis. An additional 10 launch games will be announced in the future.

Players for the first time will be able to access classic NES games online. Depending on the game, players can engage in online competitive or co-op multiplayer, or take turns controlling the action.

Multiple users even watch each other play single-player games online, and “pass the controller” at any time. Every classic NES game will support voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. It will also be possible to play the games offline.

 

Redbox Expanding Nintendo Switch Game Rentals

Redbox March 21 announced the expansion of Nintendo Switch game rentals to kiosks in Denver; Salt Lake City; and Nashville, Tenn.

Combined with an initial rollout in October 2017 in Portland, Ore.; Seattle and San Antonio, more than 2,000 Redbox kiosks across six markets feature Nintendo Switch games for rent.

“Nintendo launched the Switch console about a year ago, and now it’s the fastest-selling console of all time,” said Aaron McDowell, head of games at Redbox, in a company blog. “People love it. And they love it because you can use it whenever you want and however you want.”

He praised the game system’s flexibility.

“The Switch has a screen and two removable controllers called Joy-Cons,” he said. “You can put in a game cartridge and just play it alone wherever you want with the controllers attached. Or if you want to play with a friend, the controllers come off and you can challenge each other. You can also plug, or ‘dock,’ the Switch into your TV or any screen that has a USB port if you want the big-screen experience.”

He added Redbox is more than doubling the number of kiosks with Switch rentals. The initial rollout included 600 kiosks.

Nintendo Switch games available or coming soon in March, include:

  • Dragonball Xenoverse 2
  • Just Dance 2018
  • LA Noir
  • LEGO Ninjago
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Monster Energy Super Cross
  • NBA 2K18
  • Pokken Tournament DX
  • Sonic Forces
  • Splatoon 2

Game rentals are $3 a night. Some previously-rented games are also available to purchase. The full lineup of games available to rent at Redbox is listed here.

Apple, Disney and YouTube Top Millennial Brands in New Report

Apple, Disney and YouTube, respectively, ranked as the top three most “intimate” brands among millennials, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. Brand intimacy leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.

“We were surprised and pleased to see YouTube as an addition to the top three most intimate brands for millennials this year,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “We believe its rise is due to our culture’s continued need for escape and the brand’s immediate, diverse content, personalities and growing offerings in movies and live TV. YouTube is clearly an established ritual in the lives of many millennials today.”

By comparison, in MBLM’s 2017 report, Disney placed first, followed by Amazon and Netflix.

The other brands that rounded out the top 10 were Target, Amazon, Nintendo, Google, Xbox, Netflix and Whole Foods.

The age group of 18-24-year-olds had a slightly different mix of top companies. The top 10 for that group were Apple, Amazon, YouTube, PlayStation, Starbucks, Nintendo, Google, Netflix, Coca Cola and Walmart.

The report analyzed the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the United States, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. The full report will be released on March 13, 2018.