Update: Banjo-Kazooie is coming to Nintendo Switch Online but it's not great news.
Nintendo is finally bringing Nintendo 64 classics like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Sega Genesis games to Nintendo Switch Online, but at a higher cost. The company revealed during a recent Nintendo Direct Event in September 2021 that over 20 classic titles are headed to the subscription service this October. That includes Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage 2 and more.
Being able to play N64 and Sega Genesis games on the Switch is certainly exciting news. What was more interesting than the inclusion of these old consoles was the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. This new membership plan will offer all of the benefits of a normal membership — online play, the current library of retro games, and exclusive deals — as well as the aforementioned Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games. So it seems that Nintendo is wanting to charge users more for online, and is baiting gamers in with beloved N64 titles. Nintendo did not reveal the price of this new expansion pass tier, however.
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Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t reveal the price of the Expansion Pack, only that it wouldn’t cost the same as the solo and family plans currently available. The company did let on that it would become available in late October. At that time, fans will be able to purchase the plan and load up some of their favorite N64 and Sega games. Certain titles, like Mario Kart 64, will even allow up to four people to play against one another online.
Below we've listed the launch lineup of titles. More will come, like The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario Kart 64
- Mario Tennis 64
- Super Mario 64
- Sin and Punishment
- Dr. Mario 64
- Star Fox 64
- Yoshi's Story
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Shining force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Phantasy Star IV
The Nintendo Switch Online service has always been a bit of a mixed bag. A constant drip feed of classic games might sound good on paper, but in practice, the company’s approach can often be frustrating. Nintendo Switch Online isn’t the best when it comes to keeping players connecting during gaming sessions either. And there’s also the issue of cloud saves and how certain titles, like Splatoon 2, are excluded from using that feature.
The biggest thing that Nintendo Switch Online had going for it was that it was cheaper than PSN and Xbox Live (the online subscription services for Sony and Microsoft’s consoles). And while this new Expansion pack/plan will most likely still cost less than rival subscription services, I’m not exactly inclined to pay more. Even if it means forgoing the Nintendo 64 and Sega games. But who knows, nostalgia might get the best of me in the end.