GBAtemp Exclusive Nintendo's Paid Online: a yearly checkup/opinion piece

Meteor7 Sep 14, 2019.

  1. Meteor7
    OP

    Meteor7 Guess where this thumb goes.

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    a fit of spasms and accidental black magic
    Well, the comparison wasn't "this service is as important as a child", it was "both situations have a third party holding back something they don't have a right to control unless a premium is paid." Kidnapper to kidnapped for random, analogous to Nintendo to your internet functionality for subscription fee.

    It's possible the alternate analogy from my previous post leaves less room for misinterpretation, but who knows.
    That being said, I do hope they change things drastically, even if that change only comes years from now in the next generation.
     
  2. Draxikor

    Draxikor Advanced Member

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    Is this online situation equals in japan?
     
  3. AdenTheThird

    AdenTheThird GBATemp's official Weedle fan-HAT-ic!

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    Nice! online service has come so far (':
     
  4. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    I got Splatoon 2 at release day and never had a single issue with disconnections or lag. In the Splatoon 2 section of the NSO mobile app there's actually a spot that shows how many disconnections I've had and it says 0.
    I've had plenty of other people disconnect, leaving me with a team with 3 players, or in rare cases only 2, but since I don't seem to have any issues personally, I can only surmise that the disconnecting players have poor internet connections, or they had to turn the game off because their mom said it was dinner time.
    It's probably no fault of Nintendo's or I would have experienced it too. In Splatoon 1 I did actually get disconnected a number of times. That game seemed to treat people disconnecting differently, where everyone would get kicked if one player disconnected, at least that's how I understood it.

    In Mario Kart there are the occasional players warping around or items coming out of nowhere, but again, it doesn't seem to be a frequent occurrence, and could very well just be some people that have a poor internet connection. In fact Mario Kart online has always worked pretty well, even on the DS with its abysmally slow wifi, although that was only 4 player.
    The same can't be said for Smash Bros which tends to lag or outright play in slow motion when playing online - haven't tested Smash Ultimate much online though so I don't know if that has improved there. It was still pretty bad in Smash 4, and it was awful in Brawl.

    In fact, I've heard that online in Nintendo games is actually P2P (don't know if that's true for the Switch as well) so lag or other issues certainly can't be blamed on the servers.
    And if what the OP says is correct, that certainly seems to be the case for the Switch as well.

    I don't know why people seem to think having dedicated servers makes the experience better. P2P actually has less latency and lag since the data sent doesn't have to take extra steps to reach its destination. It's going to the same place anyway, sending it directly just skips a step.

    And if there's lag in a P2P based game, there are only 2 possible reasons, either some people just have a bad connection, or the online code is written in a way that makes it extremely susceptible to lag.

    And since it seems to be a vocal minority experiencing these issues frequently, I'm going to lean towards it being the former. Further evident by the fact that I've hardly heard anyone complain about it on the forums. They complain about the online lacking features, they complain about having to pay, but I haven't heard them complain about lag in Mario Kart and Splatoon. It's probably happened and I just missed it, but it's clearly not a common occurrence, as I check the forums multiple times a day.

    You will always have some people with bad connections in any game, so some issues like that are unavoidable. I think people don't realize that.

    The complaint about bad signal strength is a real issue though. The Switch seems to really struggle with that, and it doesn't just affect the JoyCons. I haven't had issues with it more than once, and that was when visiting my mom, trying out the ARMS online demo with my brother since it had a couch coop option. In his bedroom, where I get perfectly good signal with my phone, the Switch was barely able to connect at all and once it did it would only last a couple matches before I got a connection error. My phone is much smaller so why does it have better signal? It shouldn't be that way, and sadly it's not something they can fix with a software update. They could maybe increase the Tx power, but that only does so much. Maybe that's part of the reason there are disconnecting players in Splatoon and occasional weird lag in Mario Kart, but then again, Mario Kart has always been that way, it doesn't seem to have improved or gotten worse, but it's rare enough that it's not a problem IMO.

    And on the topic of voice chat, I don't use it, I don't care about it, but I think Nintendo should have implemented it better. That's a genuine complaint and voice chat honestly should have been integrated into Splatoon 2 from day one. The fact that nothing has changed in regards to voice chat since then, while Fortnite players get to enjoy their voice chat with fully functioning combined mic+headphone jack is a slap in the face to people playing other games. I know Nintendo are heavily focused on being family friendly but it's holding them back and they seem to still be living in the past in that regard.

    tl;dr
    Overall, the OP seems heavily biased, and a tad inaccurate. For example, Nintendo's online does have dedicated matchmaking servers. Whether you think that's worth $20 a year is up to you, but those servers do cost money to run, and it's still only a third of what M$ and Sony charge. You can't expect them to pour the same amount of money into it as M$ and Sony are doing, especially when P2P actually works better than taking an extra step through a server only for that data to be sent to the same place anyway. What are they spending all that money on? Likely lining their pockets with most of it, I'll admit. But if you have any idea how much of the money spent on PS Plus or XBox Live Gold goes into someone's pockets, I'd wager a pretty big percentage of it. Probably only a few percent actually goes to paying for the servers.

    Is the online experience in games perfect? No, lag does happen, some games have it worse than others, but I don't see getting dedicated servers as a thing that's going to help, it's only gonna make things worse, and I'm not sure what else they could do to fix it unless their netcode is just that bad.

    Do I think you should be getting more for your $20, rather than just the same online service that was free before, with a bandaid in the form of emulated games and partial cloud saves? Yes, and honestly I don't care enough about the emulated games to want to pay for them anyway. I have plenty of devices I can run emulators on, I own many of these games already either on the original systems or Wii Virtual Console, and I would rather my $20 go towards something most people would actually pay for than essentially making people pay for something they might not even want or care about. But in the end, that's not why I got NSO. I got it to play online, cause you don't have much choice. And I don't think anyone buys NSO because it includes NES and SNES games. There would have to be a much bigger offering, possibly including some 1st party Switch games in the mix for that to be appealing to most. And perhaps that will happen in the future.

    tl;drttl;dr
    But the bottom line is, the OP makes it seem like NSO is a pile of steaming, barely functional garbage, and in many cases unplayable, when that's not even close to the truth. In my experience in Splatoon 2, it actually works great, I just wish they implemented a better way to handle people dropping out just as a match starts. Maybe just let another player join midgame if someone drops out. Or give the other team a small handicap if they have more players, to make it more fair.
    The lag issues in Mario Kart don't really affect the gameplay, and it always seems to be a single player warping all around on the rare occasion there are lag issues. You can hardly fault Nintendo for some dude having a bad connection when everyone else in the match seems to be playing just fine. If everyone seems to be lagging, chances are you're the one dude with the bad connection. Likely the same thing that's happening to those complaining about lag in Splatoon 2 - which I've never once experienced personally.
    The one series I have always found to be unplayable online (at least unless you live in the same country as your opponents) is Smash Bros, but as said I haven't tested the online in Ultimate much so I can't really speak on that.

    The one thing NSO is really lacking to make it feel worth the money is a selling point other than just being able to use the online services that used to be free. NES and SNES games are not a selling point and cloud saves might be if they actually worked for every game, but since they don't, they're not much good. Other than that, I'm happy with the quality I'm getting overall. That would likely change if I was really into Smash and the experience is as bad as it has been with past entries. But eh, for me it's a game that's most fun when played locally so I'm not much interested in the online.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Sep 18, 2019
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  5. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    It's my opinion, I don't like most of the NES games on the NSO, I grew up with the SNES and if you can't my opinion, that's not my freakin problem.

    Wow NES Tennis and Donkey Kong Jr., most excellent games! I can't wait to waste my money on those!
     
  6. GravitySuitCollector

    GravitySuitCollector Advanced Member

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    Don't hate on Donkey Kong Jr. too much. It really is a good classic arcade game. I can't say Tennis aged as well, though.

    As for the rest of NSO, it'd be nice if it just worked, at least a bit less laggy. Please, Nintendo.
     
  7. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Out of the 60 NES games, what hasn't aged well? Most of them IMO, and if people can't take my like of SNES more, that's not my concern.
     
  8. PikachuR77

    PikachuR77 GBAtemp Regular

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    SNES Online does not include Kirby Super Star, it includes Kirby's Dream Land 3.
     
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  9. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo SkyTom

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    I forgot
    You only get to keep the 360 games MS offers with Games with Gold, you don't keep any of the Xboner games when you stop subscribing. The Xbone games function the same as PS+, you can play them as long as you subscribe, but you can't after your subscription ends. ;)


    Anyways, on topic, I only have NSO cuz I got it for free for a year from Twitch, not going to bother paying for it (even if the cost is minuscule) because it lacks basically any interesting features to keep me paying (and their shit online infrastructure certainly isn't worth $20 a year), though SNES games are a small start. If they start offering real bonuses that we haven't seen before (AKA N64+ free titles), then it'll be hard pass for me.
     
  10. osaka35

    osaka35 Instructional Designer

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    the fact wifi and usb ethernet are around usb 2.0 speeds may also play a big part of it. I have fiber and use ethernet, and I see a lot of the issues. i don't play much online because of it.

    I just thought it was cheaters, but it could easily be lag. could be easy to confuse one for the other if you didn't know better, and complain about the wrong thing.

    side note, splatoon 2 does need to fix its matchmaking. I've seen a team of lvl5s matched with a team of lvl30s and most of the lvl 5s jumped. that was a fun match. they need a system that isn't pants-on-head silly. might make online feel more like it's skill based than luck based.
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Sep 18, 2019
  11. Ampersound

    Ampersound Advanced Member

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    I payed 5$ once for the online for a year. If they don't have proper servers by next year i will cancel the subscription immediately. This is unacceptable for 2019!
     
  12. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    You don't need more than 480 mbps to play online games. You hardly need more than 5, if that.

    I never pay attention to the levels, I didn't even realize they were displayed. Is that ranked battle or normal? I mostly play normal.
     
  13. osaka35

    osaka35 Instructional Designer

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    I mean you can play consistently, but is there really no downsides to max usb 2.0 for online play? since it's p2p, i mean.

    normal, not ranked. haven't played for a while, but they at least used to show level. you knew you weren't going to have fun when you were level 20 paired with level 5s and playing against a group of level 30s. i mean. you don't even want to play then. wonder if they hide them now just so folks don't complain XD
     
  14. piratesephiroth

    piratesephiroth I wish I could read

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    Comparing P2P multiplayer with MMOs? What the heck are you even talking about, lol?
    MMOs need to have a good structure of servers, of course (nothing near "high end" as you claim, rofl, unless you're running a globally popular game). However this has nothing to do with regular multiplayer service, where the servers only provide matchmaking.
    By your logic they needed to charge for eshop access too because you're consuming massive amounts of resources just by browsing it, and that service does require very good servers.
     
    Last edited by piratesephiroth, Sep 18, 2019
  15. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Your internet probably isn't fast enough to make use of USB 3.0 speeds anyway since most internet connections are way slower than 480 mbps. The only time you would really notice the difference between 480 mbps and 1gbps/1000mbps is on a PC when copying files over LAN or something, but even then it's only half the speed, you'd tell the difference but it would still be fast enough, it would just take longer to copy.

    As for wifi I don't think it's connected to USB, but the wifi adapter in the Switch just isn't super fast (it's not 802.11ac as far as I can tell, or if it is, it's a poor version of it), not that it matters because like I said, online play really doesn't use much bandwidth, latency and poor connections (dropped packets) is a much bigger factor. I saw speeds well over 100mbps downloading stuff onto my Switch and that's plenty for pretty much anything, even streaming movies in 4K UHD if that ever becomes a thing on the Switch. The hardware is technically capable of it but Nintendo haven't enabled anything past 1080p output.
     
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  16. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    You're not very familiar with how modern games work then. Very few AAA titles still cling to the P2P model with servers only dedicated to matchmaking, many popular games played online are either hybrid systems of P2P host "bubbles" connected by an overarching world server (games like Destiny, for instance) or straight up run the entire process server side with the clients being only responsible for displaying graphics and sending input. In some games even a portion of the AI, graphics and physics workload is off-loaded to the servers when played online, the days of straight up P2P are over. This new approach has many advantages, particularly in terms of curtailing cheating and enabling a level playing field in terms of latency. As for the latter point, you *are* charged for using the eShop - part of the proceeds from selling digital goods is dedicated to keeping the servers up and running, just like a portion of the profit from selling goods and services pays the rent of a brick and mortar store, I don't know what kind of point you're trying to make. That browsing the shop is free? Yeah, of course it's free, people who *buy things from it* offset that.
     
  17. chrisrlink

    chrisrlink Intel Pentium III Hamster inside

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    I'm getting NSO with my switch lite + let's go pikachu or 3 houses a bit off topic has any legit switch been banned with trading *legal* pokemon between let's go games? and using them online (I'm not talking genned I'm talking about pokemon caught in game traded to a hacked switch use power ups *candies, HP/PP up* then traded back
     
  18. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Ah, I didn't know that, I thought you got to keep them for good. I learn something new every day, I'll adjust my post to reflect that.
     
  19. piratesephiroth

    piratesephiroth I wish I could read

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    You're talking about rare AAA titles with MMO features.
    Is Destiny even on the Switch?
    The absolute vast majority of multiplayer games use exclusively P2P for gameplay, especially in these modern times when indie development gets stronger and stronger.
     
  20. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Quality over quantity. Overwatch, to think of a different example, has no host among the players - all the players are clients connected to a dedicated server which runs an instance of the match. Another popular shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, uses a hybrid system with the Terrorist Hunt mode ran locally by a host with an option of P2P players joining in and the Casual and Ranked multiplayer modes ran entirely on the dedicated server running match instances. Even indie developers have access to these features as many of them are baked into popular engines like UE or Unity. Modern netcode is very different from what you imagine it to be.
     
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