Nintendo has just recently made a pretty significant announcement: Super Nintendo games will now be added to the classic library of Nintendo Switch Online at no additional cost, as opposed to the current $20 USD a year. At the same time as this announcement, a lot of Super Nintendo games were added to the library, about 20 total. This brought the total number of NES and SNES titles available on the Switch to more than 60.
However, there is another side to this. Nintendo will no longer be adding new NES games to the library every month. This is not to say that there will be no further additions to the library, as a Nintendo spokesperson clarified that there would be more games added later, just not on a regular schedule. In short, we’ll still get more NES and SNES games added to the classic library, but not on a regular basis. They’ll become available when they do.
What kind of an effect this will have on the classic games library is up for debate. While the Nintendo Switch Online service began just a little over a year ago, when it started with just 20 games, it grew to 40 in a very short time frame, thanks to regular monthly updates. But now that Nintendo won’t be doing that, will the growth of the classic games library stall significantly? Might we be lucky to even get a dozen or so new additions over the course of the year? As it stands right now we have no idea how quickly Nintendo will work to add new classic games to the Switch library, but the fact that they have made this move indicates that they probably want to slow down their pace to some degree. It’s unlikely we’ll see growth as rapid as this past year.
On the other hand, at least those classic games will now be free to access at no additional charge. While they are technically still games, let’s be honest; they’re very old. Paying $20 a year to play games from nearly two decades ago seems to be a bit much, even if there were 40 of them available at the time. Of course, Nintendo could easily increase the cost of their very cheap Switch Online service to compensate, but considering the massive amount of money they’re raking in from so many successful titles released so regularly, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel the need to do that.