There’s really no way around the fact that at $49.99 annually, the Switch Online Expansion Pack feels really expensive. This is based on our experience with Nintendo’s online service on the Switch up to this point. However, there are things that could be done to make this price feel more appropriate.
Here are 4 things we want for the N64 Collection on the Switch Online Expansion Pack:
The N64 doesn’t have a very big library of games overall. In North America, there was only 296 games that were released. The Playstation had more that 4 times that many. However, even with its smallish catalogue, the n64 has a lot of really fun games.
This means that it should be no problem to actually put quality games on the online service. When the NES and SNES services were launched, the lineup of games was decent at best. Even with a few important games still missing, the game selection has improved a lot.
Here are all the N64 games that have been announced:
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Super Mario 64
- Majora’s Mask
- WinBack: Covert Operations
- Dr. Mario 64
- Yoshi’s Story
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
- Pokemon Snap
- Mario Golf
- Sin and Punishment
- Mario Tennis
- F-Zero X
- Mario Kart 64
- Paper Mario
- Star Fox 64
This is a solid lineup of games. Its a great sign that Nintendo was able to work something out with Rare to get Banjo-Kazooie added. If there was any way that Goldeneye could find its way onto the Switch Online service, that would be amazing. However, I bet that we will have to “settle” with Perfect Dark, which some people prefer anyways.
This is a good start for the N64 lineup. Here is my personal list of games I would like to see added down the line:
- Body Harvest
- Toy Story 2
- Snowboard Kids 2
- Shadow Man
- Rogue Squadron
- Shadows of the Empire
- Diddy Kong Ramsey
- Harvest Moon 64
- Mickey’s Speedway
- LEGO Racers
- Road Rash 64
- Space Station Silicon Valley
There are some other solid games that could be added in addition to these, but this would be a good start to making the price of the Expansion Pack more worth it.
When the NES and the SNES collections were first launched on the online service, the games were regularly updated. As time has gone by, the games have been coming less and less frequently. So not only are the games not always among the best of the system, but we rarely get new games. It begs the question: What exactly are we paying for?
We have already talked about how important it is that the N64 collection has quality games. But it is just as important for those games to come on a consistent basis. Nintendo has been very vague about the interval at which new games will be added. Ideally new games would be added once per month.
Anyone that has played online games on the Switch could tell you that it suffers from lag a lot more than Sony’s or Microsoft’s online services. Nintendo has never really used their online service as a big marketing point to sell consoles. Apart from Super Smash Bros, they don’t really have any huge online multiplayer IPs.
For that reason, Nintendo has probably not invested as heavily into the infrastructure of their online platform. That fact of that matter is, if we are going to be paying the same amount for Nintendo’s online subscription as we do for Sony’s or Microsoft’s, they need to invest more into improving the online experience.
The last thing that would make the retro game selection that Nintendo has brought to their online service more fun, would be for them to implement proper match making. Especially with the N64 games coming to the system.
Playing with friends is fun, but once your an adult it can be hard to always sync up with your friends to play. I would still like to be able to hop on and play Mario Kart 64 online, even if it’s with strangers. Being able to play these classic games with a modern matchmaking system would be an awesome experience to offer the fans.
These are the things that I think would help to improve the experience of the Switch Online Service. If these things were implemented, maybe the $49.99 price point wouldn’t feel so expensive.
What would you add to the service to make it a more appetizing purchase?