Well Ninty knows games like MK, Splatoon and Smash are useless w/out online, so they know the millions of people who play them will be forced to pay for online.
I still think they should have kept the online portion of the service free and provided a more robust subscription service for a monthly / annual fee that includes all the other stuff plus a full Netflix-style "Virtual Console" catalog of classic games to chose from, not just a handful of NES games with a drip drop stream of releases afterwards. I know it's only $20/yr, but the fact that Nintendo is now charging for the same bare-bones online service that they've been providing free for years now just makes it seem that much more of a cheap cash grab.
@bold: Maybe Splatoon, but I think labeling Mario Kart and Smash useless without line is a bit much. Those are two of the best local multiplayer series of all time.
I do like your idea for a Netflix-style Virtual Console, although I'd like it modeled after GamePass, where you can buy individual titles at a discount if you like them enough to own.