Nintendo Switch Online has had kind of hard time attracting new users. For some, the value proposition is just not good enough. Sure, being able to play online games and access new content is pretty good. But without more compelling features, some gamers don’t feel like paying more. Nintendo has tried to sweeten the pot with some addons in the past. NES and SNES emulation become a core component of the deal, but Nintendo has been pretty bad about adding new games. Every month there might be one or two new games added. But finally, with something called the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, things are improving.
The Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack will be an addon to the existing NSO service that allows users to access both N64 and Sega Genesis libraries on Switch via emulation. For now, things are still in the works, but it’s coming soon. As of the Direct this week, Nintendo revealed that the NSO expansion is due to begin next month.
So what games are included? At launch, the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack will include the Nintendo 64 titles Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, Yoshi’s Story, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, WinBack, Mario Tennis, Dr. Mario 64, and Sin and Punishment. The Genesis lineup will feature the likes of Castlevania: Bloodlines, Contra: Hard Corps, Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star IV and more.
Nintendo has already revealed that, in the future, more games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Pokémon Snap, F-Zero X, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Paper Mario, and Banjo-Kazooie will become available. No timeframe though, so it could be that Nintendo sticks to that one game per month schedule.
Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack is a new pricing tier for NSO, so this new content will cost more money per year. Nintendo has not yet revealed how much more the Expansion Pack pricing tier will cost, and users are speculating about $5-$10 as the price point to land on. So a $35 family plan could jump to $45 starting next year. This is not confirmed, just a rumor that seems to be spreading online.
And yes, this is basically a way for Nintendo to increase the NSO price by offering a meager upgrade.