Nintendo formally launched its subscription-based network service dubbed Nintendo Switch Online back in September 2018. This service is similar to the likes of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and gives players access to online play, voice chat services, along with a collection of free NES titles and cloud backups for their save data. Due to it not being as robust as XBL/PSN, there has been a lot of flack sent Nintendo’s way over the fact that this previously free service is locked behind a paywall. But, it doesn’t look like the complaints have resulted in low adoption.
During a recent financial briefing, Nintendo President Furukawa announced that over 9.8 million memberships have been activated globally. These are paid memberships; free trials have been excluded. This number does happen to include family memberships, however.
The lowest cost for Switch Online is $4 per month, so this adoption rate isn’t all too surprising given that it’s massively cheaper than the likes of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Also at this financial briefing, Nintendo announced that Switch sales are now at close to 35 million worldwide. So, as it stands, about 28% of Switch units out there are tied a Nintendo Switch Online membership. For a service that’s been out for just six months, that figure isn’t too bad.
In addition to this news, Nintendo has announced that 2.8 million accounts have downloaded and played Tetris 99—a free game that is accessible only with a Switch Online account. Considering that Tetris is what helped make the Game Boy popular, it’s not too surprising that 30 years later, it’s still attracting attention on a Nintendo system.