Nintendo Switch emulator Expansion Pack: Prices, release date, and more
Some of the greatest games of all time will be on Nintendo Switch soon.
Several Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 games are not only nostalgic and fun to play, but they shaped the gaming industry and have impacted our favorite modern games. So, being able to play select titles from either console on Nintendo Switch via the new Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack bundle is a huge deal. Are you thinking about upgrading your membership to include these N64 and Sega Genesis emulators? Here's everything you should know.
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack What is it?
During the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, the Japanese gaming company announced a brand new Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) service plan that brings Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games to the hybrid console. The base NSO membership only allows you to access online play in Switch games as well as a list of select NES and SNES games. You'll need to upgrade your membership plan and pay a higher amount to access the N64 and Sega Genesis bundle as part of the subscription.
Can I roll over my current subscription?
Yes, Nintendo is trying to make accessing this new emulator bundle easy for everyone and says it will have a system that will allow people to roll their current subscription into the new offer.
N64 and Sega Genesis controllers
As part of this new N64 and Sega Genesis Expansion Pack, Nintendo is also releasing Nintendo Switch controllers designed to look and work like those of classic systems. However, these controllers can only be purchased if you've got an NSO membership. Both charge using a USB-C cable, are wireless and will cost $49.99 each.
High res photos of the N64 and SEGA Genesis controllers showing new buttons— Nintendeal (@Nintendeal) September 25, 2021
Available for purchase ($49.99/each) by any Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, does not require expansion pack subscription pic.twitter.com/jKXGXiWHJY
Some hawkeyed Twitter users have already noticed that the N64 and Sega Genesis controllers have extra buttons on the top like a Bluetooth sync button, home button, screenshot button, and a ZR button. Though not completely faithful to the original designs, this should make them work more conveniently with the Nintendo Switch. It's likely that the N64 controller's rumble pack slot is just there for show and that the Nintendo has built rumble into the controller.
Did game visuals and controls get an upgrade?
It's hard to know exactly what the new emulator service will be like. However, considering what Super Mario 64 (via the Super Mario 3D All-Stars package) was like, I highly doubt the visuals and controls will be updated for Switch. Instead, the games will likely just be ported over without much of a touch-up.
That's one of the reasons that having one of the classic controllers is a good idea. You don't have to worry about extra buttons that don't do anything and can play the games as they were originally meant to be played.
All N64 games
Here are the games coming to the N64 emulator—anything with a (*) will not be available at launch, though.
- Super Mario 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario Kart 64
- Star Fox 64
- Sin and Punishment
- Dr. Mario 64
- Mario Tennis 64
- Yoshi's Story
- Pokémon Snap*
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask*
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards*
- Mario Golf*
- Paper Mario*
- F-Zero X*
You'll note that Banjo-Kazooie is on this list. This is a surprising development considering that Microsoft now owns the rights to the bear and bird duo. This means that some agreement was reached between the two companies to allow this to happen. It's not too surprising given that it was such a big N64 game in its time and since Banjo and Kazooie have come to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate already.
It's also worth noting that GoldenEye 007 likely will never make it onto this emulator, regardless of how much we'd love for that to happen. This is because games based on movies are tied up with licensing barriers, and it would cost a fortune plus months of legal agreements for this game to end up on the emulator. So please don't hold your breath waiting for it.
All Sega Genesis games
Here are all of the games that are coming to the Sega Genesis emulator on Nintendo Switch.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Phantasy Star IV
- Shining Force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
It's interesting having the second Sonic the Hedgehog game on this list but not the first one. Perhaps this was done intentionally since the first game doesn't offer multiplayer. Regardless, it's likely that other Sega Genesis games could eventually find their way onto this emulator. However, it hasn't been mentioned yet.
No exact price has been given yet. However, considering that we're getting some of the most significant and most influential classics from these emulators, it will likely be $25 to $35 a year. We'll update you when we learn more.
As of right now, we only know that this N64 and Sega Genesis emulator bundle will release sometime in "late October." We'll keep our ears to the ground and will update you when we know more. Either way, that means that these classic games will be available during the holiday season, meaning that the Expansion Pack could make for a great gift.
Classics on Switch
Getting access to classic Sega Genesis and N64 games on Nintendo Switch allows newcomers and long-time fans who played them in their youth to experience them. Grabbing one of those classic controllers will make them easier to play and should definitely be considered.