It's a big year for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo stated back in January that the console is the "fastest-selling home video game system of all time in the U.S." Coming up later this year are the first new Pokémon games for the console, which will surely add to the Switch's massive sales. Now, unsurprisingly, Eurogamer reports that in order to play online in Pokémon: Let's Go, you will need to purchase an online subscription. Nintendo's online service launches in September, two months before Let's Go releases.
"An active membership for the Nintendo Switch Online service, which is scheduled to begin in September of this year, will be required to access these features," A Pokémon Company spokesperson told Eurogamer.
Additionally, the spokesperson detailed the online play in Let's Go. Naturally, there will be trading and battling.
"Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! will have online play functionality. Battling and trading with other players over the internet or locally will be available in these games,"
Interestingly, the online play will not be as in-depth as in previous games. Instead, it will be simplified:
"However, the feature set will be somewhat simplified in comparison to previous games in that there is no GTS, Wonder Trade, or Battle Spot (Rating Battle, Free Battle, and Online Competition, etc.) for example. Further details will be revealed at a later date."
This aspect of simplified online play may come as disappointing to longtime players, but it makes sense. Let's Go is clearly aimed at a more causal audience than Game director Junichi Masuda told Eurogamer in an interview, "I wanted to create a new experience for kids and with this time I decided to shift that towards more of a kind of casual, lighter experience." Of course, that doesn't mean the game is only appealing to casual players. If you read all of Eurogamer's interview, you will see that Masuda wants both longtime Pokémon players and causal players to enjoy Let's Go together. Meanwhile, it should come as no surprise that players will need to pay for the subscription service in order to play online. It is the same concept as the PlayStation 4's PSN.
Let's Go will be a lot of players' first Pokémon console game experience. Many downloaded Pokémon Go, and Let's Go looks to be the perfect transition. After all, the Go app will be able to be used for Let's Go. Let's Go is based on Pokémon Yellow, where your starter Pikachu follows you on the map. In a Q&A with Game Informer, it was stated that only the original 150 Kanto region Pokémon would be included in Let's Go. While disappointing, it makes sense because Pokémon Yellow was based in Kanto. (It was the final first generation game until remakes; Gold and Silver introduced the second generation of Pokémon.) For those waiting for the next main Pokémon adventure, an RPG for Switch will be releasing next year.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! will launch for Nintendo Switch on November 16th.