During a Nintendo Direct livestream in 2021, Nintendo announced a new addition to its online service. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (a reference to the Expansion Pak hardware you could add to your old Nintendo 64 console), this new service promised to expand the current online service to include both N64 titles as well as Sega Genesis games. The normal service, in addition to standard online play for games that support it, currently gives access to NES and SNES classic games, making this the next logical step for Nintendo’s online offerings.
While initially we only knew that this Expansion Pack would be an additional service, and not included in the normal Nintendo Switch Online subscription, we had no idea how much this extra service would cost or how it would function. Since its launch in October 2021, we now know the pricing structure for this extra service and how it will function with the existing online subscription. However, in typical Nintendo fashion, their messaging has left many people confused. We’re here to clear up as many questions as possible and share everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.
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What is the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack?
The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is, on the surface, exactly what it sounds like. It is an expanded service to the base Nintendo Switch Online subscription that gives you access to more games for a higher cost. These games, as mentioned, consist of N64 and Genesis titles, with more games being added as time goes on, plus all the normal functionality and games you get as part of Nintendo Switch Online.
The base Nintendo Switch Online service will continue, so no one is forced to upgrade to this service if they don’t want to. The Expansion Pass launched on October 25, 2021.
What is included in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack?
Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack currently includes the following titles:
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
- Pokémon Snap
- Mario Golf
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
- Paper Mario
- F-Zero X
- Super Mario 64
- Mario Kart 64
- Star Fox 64
- Yoshi’s Story
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- WinBack: Covert Operations
- Mario Tennis
- Dr. Mario 64
- Sin and Punishment
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Eco the Dolphin
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Phantasy Star IV
- Shining Force
- Shining Force 2
- Shinobi III
- Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Space Harrier 2
- Streets of Rage 2
The library of games for both systems will be expanded over time, just like the NES and SNES games, and include new features such as split-screen and online play, plus quick save functionality.
The Expansion Pack also unlocks the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Happy Home Paradise DLC and all the 48 tracks that will be added as DLC to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as part of the Booster Course Pass when they roll out over the course of the year. Access to either DLC would cost you $25 each without the Expansion Pack. As of April 2022, it has also added the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2, the first old DLC to come to the service, which may imply other older DLC packs may come in the future.
How much does the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack cost?
There are two options for subscribing to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. First is the individual membership, which will cost $50 for a one-year subscription. Second is the family membership, which can include up to eight members, for $80 a year. The current Nintendo Switch Online costs $20 for an individual subscription and $35 for a family plan, making this a fairly substantial price increase.
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