Fans are filling in the blanks to figure out which N64 and Sega Genesis games are most likely coming to the Expansion Pack library
Folks are digging into Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s newly-added Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis libraries, literally — data-miners are turning up some notable stuff. One find, by MondoMega, suggests that the service will eventually include “at least 38” N64 games, and “at least” 52 Sega Genesis games, with the door still open for Game Boy.
Based on an “initial” datamine of IDs that’s been cross-referenced with what we already know about the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s retro game roster, MondoMega believes that Nintendo is prepared to roll out “at least 38 N64 titles,” as well as “at least” 52 Sega Genesis / Mega Drive games, for Expansion Pack subscribers.
Mega Drive proved to be even more interesting. At least 52 here! pic.twitter.com/sjVw5SovJZ
— MondoMega (@Mondo_Mega) October 26, 2021
That’s… more than I was expecting? Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what I was expecting from Nintendo. The company has such wildcard energy lately.
Worth reiterating: a handful of upcoming N64 games are already confirmed by Nintendo. We don’t know when they’ll be added, but Majora’s Mask, Mario Golf, Pokemon Snap, F-Zero X, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Paper Mario, and Banjo-Kazooie are locked in.
It bears repeating that nothing is for certain when it comes to Nintendo’s retro game selections in the subscription-based Nintendo Switch era, to say nothing of wonky release schedules — but this datamine is a fascinating ballpark for Switch players to contemplate.
While this seems like a great way to set ourselves up for disappointment (again!), some fans have begun filling in the blanks with their best alphabetical guesses. At the bare minimum, repeats from the Wii U Virtual Console days, like Mario Party 2 and Donkey Kong 64, would be nice. I dare not get my hopes up for Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2. (Or should I?!)
What about those Game Boy and Game Boy Color rumors for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack? Well, according to MondoMega’s findings, there’s room for “additional NSO platforms beyond [N64 and Sega Genesis].” The labeling for the IDs suggests as much. “N64 is 3, [Mega Drive] is 5; SNES was 2, you can figure out what that means.”
While the odds are definitely stacked against the $50-per-year Expansion Pack tier from a pricing and less-than-ideal emulation perspective (here’s a recap via ResetEra), I feel like plenty of folks are going to show up for the first year and then quietly, if not silently, enjoy the convenience of revisiting some of these N64 and Sega Genesis games. What does year two of this thing look like, though? That’s going to be an even tougher sell.
Also, the fact that you can only go all-in on a 12-month Expansion Pack upgrade, rather than try it out with a cheaper one- or three-month increment like the base Nintendo Switch Online service, is pretty prickly. I know why Nintendo did it this way, but still.
So far, I’ve only ducked my head in to take a cursory glance at the launch lineup with games like Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Mario Tennis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Streets of Rage 2. I haven’t touched the online multiplayer features yet, and I’m just using a Switch Pro Controller for the time being since those N64 controllers are tricky to pin down.
General thoughts? This emulation for N64 games, in particular, isn’t as consistently good as it could and really should be, but it hasn’t actively bothered me yet — I mainly want the ability to rebind the controls on a game-by-game basis. That would go a long way, as those pesky yellow C Buttons have led to strange compromises, and I’d prefer to adjust the A and B buttons, too. Hopefully the Controller Pak issues are also resolved soon.
It feels like the dust is very much still settling, so take everything — including the datamined game lists and ensuing speculation — with a chunky grain of salt.