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Gaming: Nintendo readies to throw the Switch Online; new game incoming from Shadow of the Colossus creator

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Sep 12, 2018, 9:35 PM EDT

Switch Online, Nintendo’s long-awaited, current-gen entry into the subscription gaming fray, is making its debut in less than a week — and for all we still won’t know until the service goes live, it at least sounds like the price is right.

The new subscription service will go live next week for owners of — you guessed it — the Nintendo Switch, and it’ll cost $20 per year, with additional, slightly-pricier options for those who’d rather pay as they go at $3.99 per month, or $7.99 for a three-month package. All newcomers to the service can test it out with a one-week free trial via the Switch eShop.

Nintendo, which delayed taking the wraps off the service (and a host of other Switch goodies) after postponing last week’s Nintendo Direct event in the wake of a Sept. 9 earthquake, will likely explore the new service’s features in greater detail at the rescheduled event, which kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

In addition to downloadable titles and extras available only to subscribers, Switch Online will serve as the console’s gateway for online-enabled features regardless of game type. Perhaps most immediately useful at launch, though, is its promise of allowing cloud saves for any games players have in progress. 

Nintendo’s also teasing “20 NES games with added online play for the first time ever” as soon as the service debuts, but so far hasn’t indicated which titles we’ll be getting first. Switch Direct also will enable owners of current-release games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Mario Tennis Aces to go online for cooperative gameplay with other subscribers worldwide.

Nintendo will throw the proverbial switch on the Switch Online service beginning Sept. 18.

If you’re a fan of Shadow of the Colossus or any of Fumito Ueda’s other games, this should come as welcome news: The auteur behind some of PlayStation’s most distinctive single-player adventures is already at work on something new. 

Ueda told Famitsu (via Variety) that he’s in the very early stages of development on “a completely new title,” adding that the team hasn’t yet progressed past the ideas-testing stage for the still-unnamed project.

Ueda, the mind behind PS2 classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, as well as the PS4’s The Last Guardian — all three of which share a loose thematic link — assured Famitsu he’s aiming for something that “doesn’t feel like an indie game,” and that he’s aiming for a finished product that matches or exceeds the scale and scope of his previous titles.  

This is early in the process, there’s no word on a release target, or even which platforms where the game might land — so stay tuned.