During a Nintendo Direct in 2021, Nintendo announced a new addition to their Nintendo Switch Online service. Dubbed the Expansion Pack, a reference to the hardware you could add to your old N64, 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 their online offerings. However, some key details about the service were left unanswered.
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. We now know the pricing structure for this extra service, when it will launch, plus 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 we know about Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.
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 will give you access to more games for a higher cost. These games, as mentioned, will 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 the normal Nintendo Switch Online.
The current, base Nintendo Switch Online service will continue, so no one will be forced to upgrade to this new service if you don’t want to. The Expansion Pass will launch on October 25, 2021.
What is included in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack?
At the moment, Nintendo has revealed what we can play as soon as the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack launches on October 25. These titles will be:
- 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
- Shinobi III
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
The library of games for both systems will be added to over time, just like the NES and SNES games, and include new features such as split-screen and online play, plus quick save functionality.
One added perk to getting the Expansion Pass Nintendo shared was the inclusion of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Happy Home Paradise DLC as part of the subscription when it launches on November 5. This DLC would otherwise cost $25 if purchased separately.
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.