Back when Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee were released for Switch, one big point of contention was that the games required a Nintendo Switch Online membership to access many online features that were originally free for all previous iterations of the franchise.
Although fans initially figured that Pokemon Sword and Shield would be no different, the games’ official website and Nintendo store pages seems to suggest there might be another option available. By scrolling down to the very bottom of the page, visitors are greeted with the following disclaimer:
Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for some online features. This game includes an in-game purchase option for users who do not have a membership. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply.nintendo.com/switch-online.
The inclusion of this statement seems to imply that players without a Nintendo Switch Online membership will be given the option to “purchase” access to the games’ online features separately. In comparison, the store page for Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu says this:
**Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online play. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online
While obviously not a perfect solution for those who would rather it be free of charge, this could be a game changer for fans who would like to use all of Pokemon’s online features, but do not want to commit to a Nintendo Switch Online membership, especially if it would be much less expensive.
That said, the statement could still be considered rather vague in its message, and there has been no official statement from the Pokemon Company discussing this option. We will continue to monitor this story and bring more details as they come.
Pokemon Sword And Shield launch on November 15th for Nintendo Switch.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
UPDATE: It has been discovered that this same “in-game purchase” disclaimer also appears on the store page for Tetris 99. This suggests that the option is merely a way for players to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership for the title within the game itself without having to exit to the Switch main menu, rather than a way to purchase online feature separately. In this case, Pokemon Sword and Shield will likely require a NSO membership for online features like Let’s GO Pikachu/Eevee before them.