Switch Online Expansion Pack pricing ignores history

I no longer pay for online services. Not frequently, anyway, since almost all of my online games are played on my PC. If I get a new co-op or multiplayer shooter, it will end up exclusively in my Steam library, as I don’t have to shell out a single penny more to play the game properly.

But I can at least recognize that some online services are worth the $ 60 they charge each year. Xbox Gold offers free games to gamers, just like PlayStation +. Nintendo Switch Online, on the other hand, never seemed to be worth the $ 20, and now Nintendo is asking players $ 50 for the enhanced version of the service, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. I don’t know if the company has been listening to its users for three years.

When Nintendo Switch Online was first announced, I remember getting a little excited. The service would cost next to nothing, and users would have access to online multiplayer and an ever-growing library of older NES games. Of course, these games aren’t new, but it would be fun to play them on a mobile console. The exclusion of multiplayer voice chat was odd, but I thought it was no surprise as I wasn’t going to play any games that required it on the Switch.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate It was the first time I realized how disappointing Nintendo Switch Online was. The game’s multiplayer was excruciating, and since it was the only game I actually used Nintendo’s online service for, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this really worth $ 20?” Other Nintendo fans were tired of the slow (and often uninspiring) growth of the retro game library. Gamers wondered why Nintendo wouldn’t add games from other systems to the service, like Game Boy Advance or GameCube titles.

Some of these features were eventually announced for Switch’s online service with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. The new service includes Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, as well as Animal Crossing: New Horizonthe latest DLC from. Of course, it’s not exactly what fans have been looking for, but it’s enough to get people excited again.

Mario and his friends posing under the Nintendo Switch Online logo.

The announcement that access to these games will cost players $ 50 for an individual plan or $ 80 for the family plan, however, comes from an ignorant point of view. Put simply, a curated selection of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games isn’t worth an extra $ 30 a year. For years, subscribers have hoped the company would add content, making the relatively inexpensive service one of the best around. Instead, Nintendo took some of the games fans were hoping for and locked them behind a pay wall. This now includes Super Mario 64, which the company was selling as part of the The stars of Super Mario 3D package. This pack is no longer available, as it was, for some reason, and is only available until March 31, 2021.

It makes sense from a business perspective. But for a company that prided itself on consumer friendliness (a department it had been missing for some time), it’s sad that the well of goodwill is drying up quickly.

The content that came with the more expensive version of Switch Online is still lacking, and I just have no reason to believe Nintendo will expand it significantly. The expansion pack’s Nintendo 64 and Genesis game library will grow, as will the base version’s stale game buffet. If I’ve learned anything over the past three years, it’s that gamers are going to ask for specific games and not get what they ask for. This is the trend that Nintendo has set up so far, and there is no reason to believe it will do anything different.

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