Nintendo will charge under $30 for Switch multiplayer in Japan

The Switch's online multiplayer service won't break the bank.

When Nintendo announced that the Switch would have a more robust online multiplayer network than previous consoles, fans were split. The new console's online service promised voice chat and online multiplayer, but like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, it was going to cost an annual fee. Fans worried Nintendo wouldn't provide enough value to warrant the price of entry can breathe easy -- Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima says the new console's online features will cost less than a new 3DS game.

Speaking with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Kimishima said Nintendo Online Services' annual fee would be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 yen, less than $20 to $30 at current exchange rates. That's less than half of what it costs to snag a year of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus. That feels about right, reflecting the limits of Nintendo Online Services' offerings compared to its competitors. Specifically, the lower price softens the blow of the time limit Nintendo has placed on the service's free monthly games -- instead of lasting for the duration of the player's subscription, as with Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus' monthly giveaways, Nintendo's subscription games will expire after just one month.

Kimishima also confirmed that Nintendo is considering adding a VR headset to the Switch's repertoire, echoing a patent the company filed last year. "If we are able to resolve the issues with playing VR comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another," he said. Still, don't get too excited -- Nintendo has been down this road before.