Will Switch’s Online Play be a Game Changer?

Gamers the world over are licking their lips in anticipation of the revolutionary Nintendo Switch ahead of its March 3rd release date. There is little doubt that the ingenious concept of switching the device between traditional console and tablet will totally change the way console creators think in the future, and Nintendo may also open up new ways of playing with its online mode.

Nintendo have never had a console that allows users to join an online network with a monthly subscription fee, but the Switch will provide this service in the same way Microsoft and Sony do with their respective consoles. Players who sign up to the online package will be able to download titles, chat with other users and play multiplayer games. The first few months of the online service will be offered as a free trial, with paid subscriptions starting around September 2017.

As it stands, this package sounds similar to Nintendo’s rivals, so what could the company do to make themselves more accessible to users all over the world than the established console giants already do?

Offering more ways to pay is one lucrative option. PlayStation currently lets subscribers add funds to their wallet using a regular bank card, PayPal, PlayStation Network cards or promotion codes. But Sony’s hugely successful PS Plus network has yet to embrace bitcoin as a method of payment. Nintendo could get ahead of its rival if it opens up to bitcoin transactions.

The e-currency has increased in popularity over the past year as established world currencies such as the US dollar and the Pound have experienced volatility. Bitcoin is now proving to be a stable currency and people who are frequently making online transactions are starting to realise the benefits of using the cryptocurrency for all internet purchases. Businesses that use bitcoin are finding that they are now offering their services to a much wider demographic.

Take online casinos as an example. Some have even switched to operating solely with bitcoin now, and this allows players to sign up from all over the world without having to worry about fluctuating exchange rates. This bitcoin casino site also features game variants and slots that have been created to be exclusively played with bitcoin. This opens up a whole new market where players who want to play certain games will have to switch to bitcoin to enjoy them.

If Nintendo can emulate this then they could lead the way in a new era of online console gaming. If they were able to offer games in which players have to use bitcoin to buy in-game things like character upgrades and weapons, they could tap into a niche sector that hasn’t been explored by its competitors yet.

The futuristic device should embrace the currency of the future, but this is not the only way Nintendo could change the way people play online games. Never before have large numbers of gamers been able to set their consoles up easily in real-world social settings. With the switch tablet format this is now possible, and instead of communicating via headsets, players will now be able to chat with the person next to them and even see the game from their friend’s perspective. This could lead on to mass tournaments and increased sociability between gamers, which would certainly be a significant game changer.

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