Nintendo doubled-down on its commitment to its paid Switch Online subscription service in its latest corporate strategy briefing with investors. Despite complaints over the quality and price of its newly added Expansion Pack tier, the company said it will continue “striving to provide services that satisfy consumers.”
“Last month, we released Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, a new membership plan that adds content to the existing service,” Nintendo wrote in the briefing. Going forward, we will continue to improve and expand both Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack striving to provide services that satisfy consumers.”
The company also revealed that the paid subscription service, which allows online play and cloud saves, now has 32 million users, up six million from the same time last year. That’s roughly equal to a third the number of Switches Nintendo has sold, with the caveat that the 32 million number counts every person included in a family subscription.
Rival service PlayStation Plus, which costs more than double, has 46 million subscribers, while Game Pass, a Netflix-like library of more recent games, had 18 million subscribers at the start of the year. That number has since grown, though Microsoft is no longer sharing what it is.
The Expansion Pack released last month added a slew of N64 and Sega Genesis games to Switch Online, but only for people willing to upgrade to a new $50 per year price tag, making it a more direct competitor to PS Plus and Game Pass. The new tier also includes the paid Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
But that price hike was too much for some people to swallow, especially when players realized that the Expansion Pack’s N64 emulation wasn’t up to Nintendo’s usually level of quality. The trailer originally announcing it is now Nintendo’s most downvoted YouTube video ever with 165,000 dislikes.
One easy way Nintendo could continue improving and expanding Switch Online? Finally add the Game Boy and Game Boy Color games that have long been reported to be imminent and make them part of the base $20 annual subscription.