It’s fair to say that the announcement and launch of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack could have gone better. The Nintendo Switch Online subscription service did not have an impeccable reputation until the premium tier. While some of YouTube’s negative voices may have been a joke to some, others clearly felt the supply was low, or perhaps opposed Nintendo’s approach to online services and retro gaming when compared to competing services in the market.
The value perspective also probably depends a lot on whether you play and still love Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Since the premium tier includes shiny Happy home paradise an extension, it immediately offers a good deal if you want to dive into that content, especially if you take advantage of the family group to save money. However, if you’re not an Animal Crossing fan, the dynamics are undoubtedly changing as you are limited (for now) to nine Nintendo 64 games and 14 SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis games.
The latter are fun, but their influence is certainly diminishing due to the easy accessibility of some of these games through SEGA compilation releases and the various replica / clone systems that are present in the holiday stockings.
Meanwhile, there are some gems on the Nintendo 64 roster, including Sin and punishment as a welcome and less common inclusion – but seems short. Nintendo Announced Seven Games Coming To Service Soon, But There Was A Relatively Long Silence Before Confirming This Week Paper Mario arrival December 10th. Let’s not forget that there has been criticism of emulation so far, in addition to the frustrating lack of customization for application-level control.
The anticipation and addition of one game, as well as the significantly reduced frequency of additions to the NES and SNES apps of the standard NSO subscription, have led to some views that the service is losing momentum. The arrival of Paper Mario is definitely positive because it’s a game that intrigues newcomers and should hold up well, but it also points to a potentially disturbingly partial feed of new games. What if Nintendo only released one N64 game per month? It would take us the summer of 2022 to just add a humble confirmed list of games, and honestly, we wanted F-Zero 64 yesterday… [And Banjo for Christmas. – Ed]
This does not necessarily fill the hearts of Expansion Pack subscribers with optimism and joy for the future of the service. There are a number of popular N64 games that have had Virtual Console releases in the past that haven’t even been confirmed yet; Say hi, Wave Race 64… Rumors of datamining at least give some hope.
However, you can argue differently and say that slow deployments are okay. When you combine the NES, SNES, N64, and Genesis / Mega Drive rosters, loads of games emerge, and in fact, many of us have colossal lags anyway. Some of us, including this writer, will complain about the stream of games and then struggle to find time to play Paper Mario this month. The number of games already available is also quite large, so hardly anyone has played them. all on sale. Releasing new titles one after the other gives each of them some time in the spotlight and also helps prevent the decision paralysis that comes from having a ton of titles to choose from.
We should also keep in mind that the initial anticipation of Paper Mario and its announcement does not mean that a use case is set for general deployment. Perhaps more games will drop ahead or during the holidays, perhaps two and three games will be added in the future, as was the case in the NES and SNES apps in the past. Perhaps this is just a starting cannon and momentum will gain momentum.
Either way, there is a lot to think about when it comes to the NSO expansion pack. Be sure to share your thoughts in the polls and comments below.