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Nintendo Facing Backlash Over Switch Online N64 Pricing

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Nintendo Facing Backlash Over Switch Online N64 Pricing

It feels like only yesterday (it was actually the end of September) that we were all excited for the arrival of Nintendo 64 games on Switch, via the system's Switch Online subscription service. The package currently includes online access, a handful of other perks (ahem, Tetris 99), and loads of Super Nintendo and NES titles to download and play, for the modest sum of £17.99 a year. And the promise of both N64 and SEGA Mega Drive games being added to that? We were hungry for it... albeit without knowing the cost.

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Now, we do. Know the cost, that is. The annual asking price for Switch Online plus the Nintendo 64 and 14 SEGA games, and also the 'Happy Home Paradise' expansion for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is £34.99 for an individual membership. Now, if you're a huge fan of everything N64 and Animal Crossing, that extra (does maths) £17 a year may well be worth it. The initial addition of nine N64 games is sure to be expanded, too (indeed, Nintendo has already confirmed this).

Watch the trailer for the Switch Online Expansion Pack, below...

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But if you're not so fussed about a virtual island life (more info on that DLC, here), and the SEGA games don't do much for you - after all, there's a great Mega Drive collection already available for Switch, which offers 50 games for £20-£30 - then you might see the doubling in price as something to be cheesed off about. And clearly a lot of Switch users feel this way, as the YouTube post of the Switch Online Expansion Pack trailer now has, at the time of writing, 56,000 downvotes, compared to 15,000 thumbs up.

Y'know where this one's going, don't you. To the comments...

"With that price, Nintendo, you owe us an Explanation Pack," writes one cheeky commenter. Very good, I rate your pun game a solid 6/10. Another comment reads: "Nintendo's lack of self awareness is almost charming, almost. This is easily the worst deal out of all online services in the industry." The worst? IDK about that but it does feel a long way from the value currently offered by the gold-standard of Game Pass, doesn't it.

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Let's keep scrolling, and what do we have here? "We want a virtual console. We want to actually own the games we've paid for seven times." And there it is, isn't it? As good as Switch Online's library of old-school games might become, it's still not Virtual Console. Nintendo, c'mon, what's wrong with you... do you not like money?

Personally, I'm going to hold off upgrading my Switch Online subscription until we've seen more of the N64 additions. I don't need Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time on my Switch, as I've other, just as convenient ways to play those classics; and while Treasure's incredible shooter Sin and Punishment is tempting, it's not worth the £18 by itself. Just. And regards the SEGA titles, like I said: there's a terrific 50-game compilation already widely available for Switch, and it comes recommended, dear reader.

Just to add to the ill feeling around this Expansion, the special N64 controllers for Switch, aimed to coincide with the introduction of N64 games, sold out near instantly in the US. Pre-orders for the $49.99 pads were blazed through in under three hours, with subscribers able to secure four of the controllers at a time. The Genesis (uh) control pad is also sold out at present. Sad trombone noise for the SEGA fans at the back still thinking this deal was ever decent for them.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Nintendo Switch

Mike Diver
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