Nintendo announced in September the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, adding Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games to their current subscription service.
Now they've announced the release date and the price for this expansion, and we're not sure how we feel about it.
The NSO Expansion Pack arrives on October 26 and will cost £34.99 for a single-person 12-month subscription and £59.99 for the up-to-8 accounts family option. In the US, they'll cost $49.99/$79.99, respectively.
That's almost double the cost per year, so what exactly are you getting for your money?
At launch, there will be nine N64 games and 14 Mega Drive/Genesis games, with an extra seven N64 games announced. They include classics like multiple Zelda and Super Mario games, the original Pokémon Snap, Banjo-Kazooie, Golden Axe, Contra: Hard Corps and Streets of Rage 2. Also, Ecco the Dolphin and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are included.
For comparison, the original Sonic the Hedgehog (under the SEGA AGES brand) is £5.99 on its own on the UK Switch eShop, so as long as you play three games in a year then you are getting your money's worth. These versions include save states and online gaming where available, too.
The counter-argument is that you aren't owning these games and they could be pulled at any time.
The service also looks less valuable when compared against PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now and, to a lesser extent, Xbox Games with Gold. These services are similarly priced for a year and give you access to much more recent games, including big blockbusters and day-one releases.
Games with Gold has been pretty weak as of late, but if you take advantage of the regular 'upgrade Gold to Game Pass for £1' offer, you're winning. There's also the fact that Nintendo has been very slow in adding 'new' titles to its NES and SNES libraries for the regular NSO subscription, and we can't see that changing.
The service also includes the Animal Crossing: New Horizons expansion, Happy Home Paradise, that launches November 5. We go into what that includes in a lot more detail over here, and it looks quite meaty and good value... if you already own the base game.
Like a lot of things Nintendo fan, people are going to be divided over this Expansion Pack for a long time, but at least the Big N threw European fans a bone by allowing us to play the US versions of N64 games that run at full speed, as opposed to the original versions we got over here that had multiple languages, but ran noticeably slower.
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