Nintendo Switch Online is a pretty good deal. On top of letting you play Switch games with others around the world, members also periodically get experiments like Tetris 99, Pac-Man 99, and Super Mario Bros. 35. There’s also a decent selection of retro games in their NES and SNES collections, which combine well-known classics like Super Mario World and Super Metroid with obscure titles like Doomsday Man and The Ignition Factor.
During yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, the company confirmed that they’re expanding the service with a new subscriber tier. Described as the “Expansion Pack” level (a reference to the N64’s added RAM cart) this will be more expensive but brings beloved ’90s consoles the, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis, to Switch.
The N64 collection will launch with 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, Operation: WinBack, and Yoshi’s Story with further titles being added over time. We got a sneak peek at what’s coming, with box-art shown for Banjo-Kazooie, Pokémon Snap, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Mario Golf, Paper Mario, and F-Zero X. As a further bonus, some of the N64 games will feature online multiplayer modes.
The Genesis collection is also impressive, comprising 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, M.U.S.H.A., Phantasy Star IV, Ristar, Shining Force, Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master, and Strider.
If you want the full experience, you can also pick up a replica N64 or Genesis controller for $50, and I’d expect these to sell out fast. Beyond all this, there are rumors that Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games will also be arriving in future collections, though as yet there’s been no official announcement on that.
All this makes Nintendo Switch Online a tantalizing prospect for retro gamers, particularly as buying physical versions of many of these titles is prohibitively expensive due to a surge in the collector’s market.
Nintendo didn’t give a release date other than “late October” or say how much the new tier will cost, but that info should arrive imminently. So, for now, watch this space.