Nintendo recap: There aren't any more N64 controllers for the holidays
Plus, GoldenEye 007 got unbanned in Germany, and Sega and Microsoft have entered into a "strategic alliance."
Hello there everyone! Another week has flown by, bringing with it several surprises, both good and bad. The most exciting news is that the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise DLC has dropped, bringing new experiences for those that purchase it. Additionally, the last free Animal Crossing update went live two days early, to the delight of many. But things aren't all happy. It turns out Nintendo has run out of N64 Controllers for now, and although a right-to-repair exemption was made for console owners, it doesn't apply to Nintendo Switch. There's a lot to cover, so let's dive in.
Animal Crossing day came early
The last free update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons was supposed to release alongside the Happy Home Paradise DLC on Friday. However, the update dropped randomly late Wednesday night, two whole days early. This brought Kapp'n and Brewster to players' islands along with a host of other updates.
Players can now cook dishes for the first time ever in Animal Crossing history using recipes. Plus, there's a whole lot more to explore on Harvey's Island, where the traveling saleman-type visitors can set up permanent shops if you have the Bells to spend.
The new DLC has been just as exciting as it gives players a job on an archipelago as vacation home designers for any animal clients that come. Players are already hard at work creating adorable and stunning masterpieces that defy the game's limitations. We'll be covering Happy Home Paradise more thoroughly next week, so tune back in for that.
No more N64 Controllers for the holidays
On Wednesday, Nintendo's official webpage for the N64 Controller changed to say, "More controllers will be available in 2022." Apparently, demand has been so high that the Japanese gaming company has completely run out of stock. Now, this is really upsetting for anyone who was hoping to nab one for a holiday gift. Scalpers are definitely smiling to themselves right now, looking forward to people that will pay two to five times as much for the controllers, but don't feed them. There are third-party N64 Switch controllers out there if that satisfies your itch. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until next year to get one.
N64 emulator isn't great, but dataminers find more games incoming
On that subject, it's been impossible to avoid seeing people talk about Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack this last week. Obviously, many people were upset with the initial high cost of the subscription, but many diehard fans still subscribed only to be dealt a dirty hand when they went to play their favorite classic N64 games. It turns out that many of the controls in more complex games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are really wonky and can't even be remapped to make them easier to use. Since the N64 controller is basically impossible to get right now, things are even more frustrating for people who just want to enjoy these games.
On top of that, many players have noticed a horrible amount of lag when playing OoT or when playing any of the online aspects of Mario Kart 64. Hopefully, Nintendo will release some patches soon to deal with these issues, but for now, the Expansion Pack feels like an overpriced service that was shoddily thrown together.
Initial datamining from the N64 app is somewhat fruitful. Going by the game IDs there are at least 38 N64 titles planned for NSO. The list is alphabetical so you can fill in some of the gaps already; 37 is Majora, 32 is Smash, 33 is Wave Race, 14-16 is Mario Party, etc. pic.twitter.com/tiVcugmc88— MondoMega (@Mondo_Mega) October 26, 2021
Dataminer, MondoMega on Twitter, dove into the Expansion Pack's code and found that there are a total of 38 slots for N64 games, many of which have not been announced yet. What's more, the list is in alphabetical order, making it easier for people to guess what the coming N64 titles will be. Supposedly, Super Smash Bros., Wave Race, and all three of the N64 Mario Party games are on this list. Hopefully, some of the biggest classics that haven't been announced yet will also be in here.
Switch on track to become Nintendo's best-selling console of all time
Nintendo shared its latest financial results on Thursday for the second quarter of this fiscal year. Among the results, we learned that the Nintendo Switch has sold over 92 million units worldwide. Now, the Wii was Nintendo's most successful console of all time, having sold over 101 million units. Seeing as how the Switch still has a year or two left in it, it will likely overtake the Wii and become the best-selling Nintendo console of all time in the near future.
GoldenEye 007 coming to Switch?
On that note, Germany recently removed a ban on GoldenEye 007, which has sparked rumors that the game will be coming to the Expansion Pack's N64 emulator. As covered by Kotaku, it's likely this ban was lifted because Nintendo or some other party was trying to make it digitally available on modern consoles. Since Nintendo's European headquarters are in Germany, the European eShop needs to follow Germany's rules, so that could be why Nintendo theoretically could have been pushing for this game to be taken off this list.
Sega & Microsoft sitting in a tree
Well, I guess it's more like they've got their heads in the cloud. On Monday, Sega announced that it is making a "strategic alliance" with Microsoft to have better access to the latter's cloud technology as the Japanese company works towards creating a "Super Game."
SEGA Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "SEGA") and Microsoft Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "Microsoft") have agreed in principle, a strategic alliance that explores ways for SEGA to produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. The alliance would form a key part of SEGA's mid to long-term strategy, allowing the business to move forward with "Super Game," a new initiative for developing new and innovative titles where the key focuses are "Global," "Online," "Community" and "IP utilization."
What this "Super Game" really is, no one but Sega's trusted few seem to know. But it sounds like Sega is trying to modernize itself to offer a more online experience for its fans. After all, online games have been all the rage for the last several years, especially Battle Royales, the most successful of which rake in millions each month. Whether this has anything to do with Sonic, Warhammer, or something else entirely remains to be seen.
Right to Repair exemption doesn't apply to Switch
For the past couple of years, the proposed legislation has been running through the system to make it possible for equipment owners to make repairs to their own devices rather than being forced to send them in to the companies that created them for maintenance. Just recently, an exemption was made for console owners as covered by Gamesindustry.biz. This exemption is limited only to optical drive repair or disc drive repair, which is something the cartridge-using Switch doesn't have.
"If a games console doesn't have a disc drive -- such as the digital PS5 model -- it is not eligible for self-repair under the new rule."
Right to Repair laws continue to be strict as companies hope to prevent piracy and console circumvention by keeping a tight lid on things. Still, it is rather frustrating for handy folks who can self-diagnose and repair their devices.
So long for now
Well, that's all the Nintendo news this week. There's a lot to play this week, whether you're checking out the N64 games in the Expansion Pack or if you're diving into either the free Animal Crossing update, the DLC, or maybe even both. Regardless of how you spend your weekend, I hope you have a blast.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear