Games News

Nintendo is locking NES games on Switch behind an online check-in

Nintendo
Picture of a Nintendo logo in white letters on a red background
Nintendo

Nintendo are making rounds in PR disasters these days, and the latest one is that they will impose weekly check-ins for users who want to play NES games on Switch, along with locking on-device software behind the online subscription.

You remember those NES games you could play only offline? And that they are still offline only? Well, Nintendo will force you to pay online service subscription in order to keep playing the 30 year old offline games.

As it appears now, you will be forced to pay the subscription and check-in once a week in order to be able to play those games offline. If you happen to be on a bus and the timer runs out, you will not be able to play the games until you connect again.

There is currently no PR statement from Nintendo about this consumer-hostile policy, but from where we are standing it looks like a cheap way to force people into paying the monthly subscription, because you can't check in if you're not subscribed, right?

The news came on the back of Nintendo's controversial pursuit of ROM hosting sites, which resulted in several websites removing any Nintendo-affiliated ROMS or just outright shutting down. Many content creators and retro gaming fans have voiced displeasure, usually stating that Nintendo were completely in their right to do so but suing the sites was somewhat unethical since they served as online archives of old games so far.

Nintendo's ethics further came into question after it was discovered that they used a ROM version of Super Mario Bros. and proceeded to sell it to customers. They own the rights and it is normal they would sell the game further but it also implies Nintendo themselves relied on these online archives to preserve their NES games.

NintendoPicture of Mario chasing Princess Peach through Bowser's dungeons"Thank you Mario! But you didn't check in so you will not be able to play the next level"

Another mind boggling detail about Nintendo Switch Online is the fact that the official FAQ confirms that the NES games and their save files will be stored locally on your Switch, but Nintendo will not let you access any of them if you mess a check-in or God forbid, a subscription payment.