Where’s the Atomic Colors?
Nintendo on 10/25/21 released the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion for their Online service. It brings quite a few things to the online libraries of NES and SNES games available. The expansion beings N64 and Sega Genesis games to the service as well as the new Animal Crossing DLC: Happy Home Paradise. The N64 games range from classics like Mario 64 to Ocarina of Time and a few lesser known games like Win Back: Covert Operations but there is the promise/tease that more games are coming to the service down the road, Mario Party being one of them. On the Genesis side you got Ecco, Contra, Sonic 2, and the amazing Gunstar Heroes.
Sticker shock set in right away and it’s more because of how the pricing got announced for these rather then the actual pricing which i’ll get into in a second. They announced the pricing during the Animal Crossing Direct on 10/15/21 with just a little bit of text and let me tell you Twitter wasn’t happy. $49.99 for individual and $79.99 for Family, that was a shock to some, me included. Then they went ahead and dropped the price for the N64 Classic Controller and Sega Genesis Classic Controller $49.99 each. If you already have a Nintendo Switch Online sub then you’ll only be paying the difference of the cost to add the expansion to your account which isn’t so bad i guess but if you’re like me and are paid up until 2023 then it’s a bigger hit then expected.
This might be a shock but i don’t mind the pricing as much as i thought i was going to, let me explain why. After the sticker shock set in and i got over it i was more intrigued by the promise or what could be with this expansion. They already said we’re getting more N64 and Sega games so thats a huge plus (Majora’s Mask anyone?) but here’s where i’m really intrigued. DLC for other games, Animal Crossing’s first DLC is coming to the service FREE, normally its $24.99 without a Nintendo Switch Online Expansion but here they’re including it. So does that open the door for other DLC to come to the service for free? I really do hope so, could you imagine Metroid Dread getting a few levels added or Wario Ware getting more content and its just part of the service. Only time will tell but im excited to see what they add DLC wise and what N64 games they slowly trickle out.
Zach’s Take: Personally, I find it difficult to justify dropping another $50 a year on a vital online service eith the only added benefit being the ability to play classic games. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not as big of an incentive as Nintendo seems to think it is. However, if they were to copy the business model of Microsoft or Sony and offer some older Switch titles as free downloads every month, I could easily be swayed. But seeing as Nintendo hates to be considered a follower of gaming trends, the likelyhood of seeing a perk like that is slim to nil.
Will I be purchasing the upgrade? Well, considering Nintendo has previously said that current Online customer have the option to upgrade once the service becomes available, I may just pay the difference this one time. We learned today that the upgrade to + Expansion Pack will be a pro-rated discount dependant on how many days of Online your account has remaining at the time of + Expansion Pack’s release (currently slated for October 25th).
It’s only because I am already subscribed to Nintendo Online that I don’t mind “paying the difference” this one time. Getting access to the Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles (both consoles from my childhood) will be nice for a hit of nostalgia, and being able to get the Animal Crossing DLC for free will also be a welcome perk. However, if that’s all that my extra payment will get me, and no other benefits are revealed in the time I have my + Expansion Pack subscription, I will gladly drop back down to the much more reasonable $19.99/year tier.