Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack has certainly gotten off to a rocky start. Between the substantial price hike over the base subscription cost and just a handful of N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive games available at launch, the value proposition is a little lacking. And that's before taking into account technical issues players reported with the N64 emulation from day one.
The service should have given us a novel diversion from the best Switch games, but initial impressions leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately, things might be looking a bit better for the higher-tier subscription service in the near future.
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/tiVcugmc88October 26, 2021
MondoMega's findings should, of course, be taken with a pinch of salt before any official confirmation arrives from Nintendo, but their datamining efforts do show that several fan-favorite N64 titles could be yet to arrive as part of the Expansion Pack service.
The dataminer didn't stop with N64, however. Those of you who have been loving the addition of Sega Genesis / Mega Drive games might be surprised to know that MondoMega discovered at least 52 games coming to the Genesis game roster. That's at least ten more than the collectable Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini console released in 2019.
Finally, MondoMega notes that each console represented on Nintendo Switch Online is marked with a number, with SNES, N64 and Genesis / Mega Drive being 2, 3 and 5 respectively. That means an elusive "4" could be yet to make an appearance, which is backed up by reports that Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles (opens in new tab) could eventually reach Nintendo's online service.
Analysis: Nintendo needs to sweeten the pot
Nintendo launched its Expansion Pack online service with a nice helping of N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive titles, and promises to release Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Happy Home Paradise DLC at no extra cost to paying subscribers. However, the service definitely needs a bit more in order to garner mass appeal, but it looks like Nintendo might just have that covered if the datamine holds water.
As for which N64 games we'd like to see get added to the service, 1080 Snowboarding is a must, and we'd also love to get access to less well-known titles like Mischief Makers. Not to mention Rare's legendary contributions to the 64-bit console, which included Conker's Bad Fur Day, Jet Force Gemini and Perfect Dark.
Games alone won't be enough to sweeten the deal for many, though, even if we're getting what looks to be over a hundred extra titles between N64, Genesis / Mega Drive and potential Game Boy representation. As noted above, Switch Online's consoles currently have their share of technical issues, from poor online multiplayer implementation to noticeable input lag. Nintendo should look to improve the overall quality of its service, not just the quantity.