The Nintendo Switch service only started in 2018, but has already reached 15 million paid subscribers. In the last year alone, the subscriber base has grown by eight million subscribers. According to Daniel Ahmad, Senior Analyst at Niko Partners, approximately 29% of Switch users subscribe to the service. This compares favorably to rival Sony’s PS+ service, which attracts around 37% of PlayStation 4 users.
Why has the subscription grown?
One of the reasons for the huge increase in subscribers is the amazing sales figures achieved by the Switch. As of December 2019, the Switch had sold 52.48 million hardware units and over 310 software units worldwide. This means that it’s beaten most of Nintendo’s other consoles like the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Wii U, and even the SNES in sales. The Switch has also sold more units than the Xbox One. Games like Pokémon Sword and Shield, as well as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, were also massive hits and greatly influenced sales.
At Nintendo’s recent financial briefing, company president Shuntaro Furukawa spoke about the good and bad sides of their service.
“One more point to mention is the more than 15 million accounts worldwide with a paid membership to Nintendo Switch Online, and those sales occupy a certain presence within our digital sales. But while new members continue to join, there are also those who do not renew their memberships.”
Nintendo Switch Online gives players the ability to play Nintendo Switch games over the internet, and provides services like Save Data Cloud Backup and Nintendo Entertainment System. It also has smartphone apps like voice chat and online lobbies. Nintendo says that they will continue to bring more features to the online service. They will also add more games from their extensive library to keep players happy.
Hiccups with Switch Online
Despite the overall growth of the service, there have been many bugs. This includes users complaining that many titles can’t be backed up online, connectivity issues and a limited range of titles.
Admittedly, Nintendo is years behind the Xbox and Playstation online services, but are steadily catching up as they see how lucrative it can be. If they can stick to their plan and keep things exciting for their subscription base, things look promising for the future.