Nintendo Switch online services went down worldwide

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

We hope you weren't planning to play a few multiplayer rounds of Mario Kart or Splatoon while staying at home to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Nintendo's Switch online services went down around the world for hours, with the company's status page still saying as of this writing that it's "unable to connect to the network service." We've asked Nintendo for comment and will let you know if it has more to share, although it seemed like at least some services might be back based on our tests.

The apparent failure follows unusually high strain on other gaming services as people stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network had service issues on March 15th and 16th respectively. Steam, meanwhile, smashed its concurrent user record with a reported 20.3 million players online. Whether or not the surge of home use is directly responsible for Nintendo's problem, it's clear that gaming services will have to brace for added strain over the weeks ahead.