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Nintendo Switch Online: Your guide to the subscription service's retro library and perks – CNET




If you want to travel to your friends’ Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands, you’ll need a Switch Online subscription.

Érika García / CNET

If you want to get the most out of your Nintendo Switch, it’s worth signing up for the company’s Switch Online subscription service. Think of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, but for Nintendo. If you want to play games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online, you’ll need to pay $3.99 for a month, $8 for three months or $20 if you pay for a full year in advance.

You could also opt for the $35 family plan, which is meant for households with a bunch of people who want their own accounts. It lets up to eight people play online for a year.

Read more: Nintendo Switch Lite is in stock at GameStop and Best Buy: Latest inventory update

Online multiplayer isn’t all you get. The Nintendo Switch Online service also gives you access to a library of classic SNES and NES games, support for cloud backup of game data, access to the Nintendo Switch phone app and a few exclusive offers. All of these can be found under the Nintendo Switch Online icon that was added to the console’s home screen in a Dec. 1 firmware update.

Let’s take a look at the service’s features, so you can wring every drop of value out of your subscription.

Online play

If you want to visit a friend’s island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or battle a team in Pokemon Sword and Shield, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. However, one major multiplayer game will work without a subscription: Fortnite is playable online even if you don’t have an active online subscription.

Read more: Nintendo Switch eShop sale: 6 discounted games for the holidays

Classic Nintendo games

Subscribing to Switch’s online service lets you access a library of old games, like Netflix for Nintendo games. These are all found within the “Nintendo Entertainment System — Nintendo Switch Online” and  “Super Nintendo Entertainment System — Nintendo Switch Online” apps, which you can download from the eShop. Within the apps, you’ll find wallpaper spreads of classic video game box art. Select one, and you’ll be instantly dropped into the game.


It’s a-me, old school Mario.


Much like the NES Classic and SNES Classic retro consoles, you can switch between visual filters in the apps’ menus — a 4:3 mode, pixel perfect and a fuzzy scan-line-filled CRT mode for the true retro experience.

Less retro is the cheeky rewind feature — if you want to try something again, you can press and hold ZL and ZR to jump back a few frames, and it’ll be like your mistake never happened.

Read more: Nintendo Switch’s new SNES feature is ruining everything

Nintendo has also added an online multiplayer mode, even in games that don’t have multiplayer modes — you can pass the second player controller to a friend over the internet, so you can take turns. You can also try SP versions of some games, which add special features.

The initial September 2018 selection included 20 NES games, and it ballooned as Nintendo added two or three a month after that. A set of 24 SNES games brought it into the big time in August 2019, and it’s been adding to both consoles’ libraries periodically since then. 

You’ll also lose access to your NES and SNES libraries if your console is disconnected from the internet for more than a week — the console needs to check in with the service every seven days to make sure you’re still subscribed.

Read more: Best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games for families in 2021


There are two SP versions of Metroid, and one lets you skip straight to the battle with space dragon Ridley.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Here are the lists of games available within each app, with SP versions highlighted.

Classic NES games

SNES games


The Japanese library is a little different.


The Japanese library

You can access more classic games via the Japanese eShop, at no extra cost. Here are the steps for this:

1. Create a second Nintendo Account and set Japan as the region. You’ll have to use a different email address than the one linked to your regular account.

2. Create a new profile on your Switch and link it to your Japanese account.

3. Download “Family Computer — Nintendo Switch Online” and “Super Famicom — Nintendo Switch Online” apps from the Japanese store. Don’t worry about the language barrier; you’ll spot the English “Nintendo Switch Online” option.

These apps are similar to the NES and SNES ones, in Japanese. They also contain that country’s versions of games and a few that aren’t available in the West:

Japanese NES (Famicom) exclusives

Japanese SNES (Super Famicom) exclusives

There are also some SP versions that’ exclusive to Japan. There are some regional differences in games, beyond the language. The Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda was released on the Famicom Disk System, a Japan-only console expansion that never got an NES equivalent. So it has a more complex soundtrack, offering richer music with more audio channels and instruments than the Western release.

The Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. 3 is also slightly harder. When Raccoon Mario gets damaged in that version, he drops all the way back down to small Mario. In the Western one, Raccoon Mario drops into Super Mario, so you can take an extra hit before losing a life.


The Japanese Super Famicom selection is presented with that region’s vertical box art.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Your main Nintendo Account’s subscription will give you access to the apps from the Japanese store, so you won’t need to pay for a separate subscription. If you can overcome the language barrier — all the text will be in Japanese — it’s worth giving these games a try.

Cloud-save data

For Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, game data will automatically be backed up to Nintendo servers if you have an internet connection. If you sign in to your account on a new console, you’ll be able to download that data and pick up right where you left off. It’s an easy, simple way to protect the time you’ve invested in Nintendo Switch games.


You can back up most games’ save data in the cloud.


Certain titles aren’t compatible with this feature, to prevent cheating. On the surface, that seems to make sense — players can’t hack their Pokemon Sword and Shield data to get all the starters — but it means that competitive multiplayer games with a single-player component aren’t protected. If you lose your Switch and want to pick up where you left off in Splatoon 2’s single-player campaign, you’ll be out of luck.

If you cancel, you have six months to resubscribe before your cloud data is potentially deleted, Nintendo told IGN. That’s the same amount of time Sony gives PlayStation Plus users.


Playing through A Link to the Past in Japanese might be a bit too challenging.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Voice chat and the Nintendo Switch app

Online multiplayer is great, but without the ability to talk to other players, it’s a weirdly solitary social experience. That’s why voice chat is so important. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s solution to voice chat is a little strange.

Most game consoles allow you to plug a headset in to the console’s USB port or audio input jack and talk to players directly through the game. But most Nintendo Switch games that support voice chat require the user to piggyback off a phone, using the free Nintendo Switch Online app, available on Android and iOS.


Voice chat isn’t as straightforward as it should be.


To chat with other players in Splatoon 2, you’ll need to download the app on your phone, invite your friends to a Skype-like VoIP chat in the game, then fire up the app and, finally, connect to your match. You’ll be talking with your team on your phone while playing the game on your console.

An update made it a little better, in certain games. If you start a multiplayer session in the Switch’s NES library, the phone app will automatically detect your play session and connect you to your friend. Some games will even let you chat with other players who aren’t on your friends list: Mario Kart 8 will tell you that other users are in voice chat, prompting you to open the app.


Super Mario Kart is a retro treat on the Switch.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

If you want to have a traditional console experience, you’ll need to buy a complicated audio splitter to literally tether your Switch to your smartphone.

It isn’t a user-friendly experience, which is why some games sidestepped it — you can chat in Fortnite by plugging a headset in to the console and playing. 

The app also let you access special features in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2.


The NES controllers let you get truly old school.


Special offers

Nintendo Switch Online members will get access to special offer, like discounts, in-game items or the ability to play a Switch game for free during a set period.

From Dec. 30 to the end of Jan. 5, subscribers can play Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled — including single player modes, local multiplayer and online multiplayer — for free.

Mario-themed battle royale game Super Mario Bros. 35 throws you into a 2D arena with 34 other players, all battling it out to be the last survivor. It’ll be available to subscribers until March 31, 2021.

Prior to the June 2019 release of Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo introduced its Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers promotion, which let you download two qualifying Switch games for a set price of $100, instead of paying $120 to buy them separately. Nintendo updates the list of eligible games regularly; this offer applies to the recently announced Paper Mario: The Origami King.


Puzzle game Tetris 99, exclusively for subscribers.


It’s also offered free original games, like Tetris 99, which came out in February 2019. A physical version has since become available for $30, in a bundle with a 12-month Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

If you subscribe for a year, you’ll get in-game items for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Kirby Clash.

If you want to feel extra retro when playing the console’s retro library, Switch-compatible NES and SNES Controllers for Nintendo Switch are available only to subscribers. It’s $60 for a pair of NES ones and $30 for a single SNES pad, but they’re currently sold out.


You’ll have to link your Nintendo account to your Switch profile.

Screenshot by CNET

You’ll need a Nintendo account to sign up

Your Nintendo Switch has individual user profiles for each user. The company also has a Nintendo account to manage your profile and purchase-history on the website, console devices and phone apps. To use Nintendo Switch Online, you’ll need both. 

Just make sure you link your profile to the right account — any Switch profile linked to a Nintendo account will be permanently locked in.

There’s a free trial

If you want to sample the goods before shelling out any money, Nintendo is offering a one-week free trial. The seven-day trial offers almost all the benefits of the core service, but it won’t let you access special offers, like those retro NES and SNES controllers.


Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is monstrously tough, with its poison mushroom betrayals.

Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

If you don’t like the service, however, you’ll have to manually disable auto-renewal to avoid being charged a $3.99 monthly fee at the end of your trial.

How do I sign up?

Prepaid subscription cards are available at select retailers, but the easiest way to buy the service is simply to try to play a multiplayer game on your Switch — it’ll take you directly to the eShop to complete the sign-up process.

This post will be updated as more features, games and offers are added for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

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MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components – CTV News



The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $35.3 million to MDA Ltd. to design a key component of Canadarm 3.

The funds will be used to design Gateway External Robotics Interfaces or grapple fixtures for Canadarm 3, which is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

The contract is a follow-on to the first phase of interface work awarded in August 2019. A construction phase will likely be awarded in about a year.

The first elements of Gateway will launch in 2024, with Canadarm 3 scheduled to launch two years later.

The contract is the third awarded to MDA for the multi-phase Canadarm 3 program valued at more than $1 billion.

Canadarm flew on 90 space shuttle missions after debuting in 1981. Canadarm 2 has been operating on the International Space Station for more than 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

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Motorola's next Edge flagship phone might drop the curved display – Yahoo Canada Shine On



Motorola might soon release a sequel to its flagship Edge phones — albeit without their signature feature. OnLeaks and Pricebaba have shared what they say are CAD-based renders of the standard Edge 20, and Motorola appears to have dropped the highly curved “endless” display in favor of a 6.7-inch flat screen. It would be just another phone on the outside, even if the 120Hz,1080p panel could make it feel extra-responsive.

You’d also get a triple rear camera system that reportedly includes a 108MP primary sensor, a 16MP secondary cam and an 8MP tertiary sensor (likely for telephoto and wide-angle shots). This regular Edge 20 model would be an upper mid-tier device on the inside between a Snapdragon 778G chip, up to 8GB of RAM, a peak 256GB of storage and a 4,000mAh battery.

There is a chance the rumored Edge 20 Pro would keep the curved screen, and it might offer improved performance from the Snapdragon 870. An Edge 20 Lite is supposedly in the works as well. If Motorola does use this design for the mainstream Edge 20, though, it signals a change of tack. Rather than relying on an eye-catching (if somewhat impractical) design for the entire Edge line, it would focus on delivering value for the money. It’s just a question of whether or not the price will be low enough to draw you away from rivals.

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Oppo Watch 2 leaks ahead of July 27 launch, but will it get the new Wear OS 3? – Android Authority



Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority


  • Renders of the Oppo Watch 2 have leaked.
  • Successor to the Wear OS-powered Oppo Watch, the new wearable will launch on July 27.

In the four images of the Oppo Watch 2 leaked by Blass, we see a square-shaped device that looks akin to its predecessor. It’s got two buttons on the right side and the renders depict blue, red, and black colorways for the straps.

One of the leaked images of the Oppo Watch 2 shows that it’ll have the ability to receive calls, something we also saw on the original Oppo Watch. A retail listing of the smartwatch on China’s confirms that it’ll feature eSIM support in its home market. This was also the case with the previous Oppo Watch. However, it remains to be seen if the second-gen Oppo Watch will come with eSIM capabilities globally.

Meanwhile, another render of the Oppo Watch 2 shows map directions on display. This suggests the device could come with built-in GPS like the first-gen Oppo Watch.

Oppo Watch 2 specs

Under the hood, the Oppo Watch 2 could be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus SoC coupled with the Ambiq Apollo 4s coprocessor. The second chip is expected to help the smartwatch run a low-powered RTOS in addition to the main operating system.

As for the latter, it’s unclear if the Oppo Watch 2 will feature Wear OS this time around. With the Snapdragon 4100 Plus at its core, the wearable should technically be able to run Google’s new Wear OS 3. However, Google recently shared a list of current and future supported devices for the software and the Oppo Watch 2 wasn’t on it. That said, things could change by the time the Oppo Watch 2 steps out of China.

Elsewhere, the Oppo Watch 2 is rumored to have seven models divided into 42mm and 46mm sizes. It might get 16GB of storage, up from 8GB on the current model. It is also tipped to feature stress detection, remote camera control, a tweaked UI, and a new Relax app. However, these findings only pertain to the Chinese model of the smartwatch.

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