Nintendo Switch Online – The heavily criticized expansion pack

This summer taught us that playing the treasures of the Nintendo 64 on Switch would have a price, the last Nintendo Direct dedicated to Animal Crossing: New Horizons revealed it to us, the start-up of the service confirms to us that the entry ticket is not just pecuniary. The Nintendo Switch Online expansion pack has been available for a few days now and, to the surprise of those who thought that games from such an old machine should run smoothly on a modern machine, the hybrid console proves to us that no.

Indeed, the service may have been online for a short time, the players, who were eager to discover or rediscover the masterpieces that are The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis or even Mario Kart 64 , have since shared their displeasure in so many ways across social media, an arm’s length list of grievances that we’re going to skim over (because sharing bad news sours and our doctor suggested we sweeten up our tone).

Before we go any further, let’s recap a little bit of the context since some of the current discontent started last week with the announcement of the expansion’s price. Indeed, during the Direct devoted to Animal Crossing that we mentioned above, Nintendo then revealed the price to pay to take advantage of Nintendo 64 and Mega Drive emulation on its hybrid console, a bundle that multiplies the price of the service by two for the premium version of its Nintendo Switch Online, which goes from around €20 to €40. Naturally, the news was greeted with a certain tension on the part of the players, tension slightly mitigated by the presence of the DLC “Happy Home Designer” of Animal Crossing in the offer at no additional cost.

Who would have thought that this is ultimately the best option offered by this offer… It didn’t take long for the first feedback from players to appear and they report emulation frankly leaving something to be desired. Of course, no problem noted with the Mega Drive which is doing very well (it would have been a shame knowing that the Super Nintendo has no problem on the same medium, except if we are talking about the quality of the latest titles added in service, of course). Unfortunately, the problem comes from the Nintendo 64 emulation which suffers from many flaws…

We’ll cut you off right away. Yes, the console’s Wii and Wii U emulation also left something to be desired, but Nintendo managed to do worse. On the program, concerns in terms of gameplay, techniques, options… There is something for everyone. So, we’ll start by pleasing aesthetes by talking about graphics. And as much to say it right away, it sucks.

To illustrate, we invoke the fog. This “cache-misère” which at the time made it possible to circumvent the technical limitations of a machine, but which also contributed to offering a singular dreamlike atmosphere to some of these games of our childhood, has literally disappeared. As a result, yes, we benefit from a much larger field of vision, but which often reveals the naturally very dated playing technique. You’ve probably seen these illustrations that speak for themselves so we’re sharing them as well.

Well, it’s true that it’s not very pretty, but as long as it’s playable, it should be fine, right? Wait, here too there are things to say. For that, we invite you to search yourself for gameplay videos on YouTube or Twitter, you will have no problem finding them. We have everything there too: glitches, bugs, slowdowns (especially when playing online), of the’input lag and even crashes… Lots of problems that may be partly due to the quality of your internet connection, but not only. It should be noted, however, that it would be fun for you to take out a subscription to an online service if your connection is not sufficient to play, but that is somewhat your problem.

And as if we hadn’t shot the ambulance enough, we could add the absence of the Controller Pak (or an option to emulate it), which prevents you from saving your ghosts in Mario Kart 64 by example or even the impossibility of mapping its keys as desired within the emulator (thus forcing you to play with a rather average mapping and not necessarily always adapted to the different experiences offered)… We agree to recognize that that’s not good phew, is it?


If, like us, you were waiting for feedback before making a final decision on the Nintendo Switch Online expansion pack, we imagine that this file could provide answers to the questions you had left, right? So, do you intend to give in to its charms or do you want to wait for Nintendo to correct its offer before letting yourself be convinced? (We also remind you that if you have taken out the subscription for the Animal Crossing DLC, by not renewing the extension of the services, you will also lose the content offered by the DLC). The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack costs €40 a year, while with the family plan (allowing eight accounts to take advantage of online services), your subscription goes up to €70..

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Nintendo Switch Online – The heavily criticized expansion pack