(Pocket-lint) - As part of the Nintendo Switch preview days, the Japanese company revealed that it will be launching a similar subscription service to Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.

Like those rivals, you will need to subscribe to Nintendo's version to play online, multiplayer games on the Switch, something that the firm has never insisted on before.

The good news though is that it is likely to be much cheaper for a Nintendo online membership.

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed to Asian news site Nikkei that an annual subscription for the Nintendo Switch will cost between 2,000 and 3,000 yen, that roughly equates to between £14 and £21. Even if you round them up to between £20 and £25 a year, that's cheap.

A PlayStation Plus annual subscription is around £40, the same as a sub to Xbox Live Gold when paid yearly.

The only main difference is that both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold include several free, often full-price games each month for subscribers to keep for the duration of their membership. Nintendo also plans to award members with a free game per month, but it will only offer virtual console titles from its vast back catalogue.

In addition, it was stated during the preview events that the free Nintendo games will only be active for a month at a time.

Kimishima also told Nikkei that the Switch might one day be virtual reality compatible, but that would require a system that could be played comfortably for a considerable while: "If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another," he said.

The Nintendo Switch will be available globally from 3 March. It is priced at £280 in the UK and some pre-order stock is available.

Writing by Rik Henderson.