It’s been five months since the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service. The Expansion Pack received negative reviews at launch for the drastic price of $49.99 for a yearly membership ($79.99 for a family membership), a large step up from the standard $19.99 for a yearly membership ($34.99 for a family membership). But now that the Expansion Pack’s been out for a few months, has it been worth the cost?
Let’s take a look at what’s been offered so far. The meat of the Expansion Pack is the online library of games for the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. So far, 13 games have been released for the N64, including 4 that have released on their own after the launch. Among these have been fan favorites like Banjo-Kazooie and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Additionally, three new games have been added to the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, like Light Crusader and Alien Soldier, totaling 17 games. That’s 31 total games, with at least another three N64 games announced.
Another perk of the Expansion Pack has been the free DLC offered to both Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, together which total to $50, the regular price of the Expansion Pack yearly membership. The fact that the Switch’s #1 and #2 games have free DLC is a major plus for the service, and keeps me hoping for future DLC of other first party games, like Mario Party: Superstars or the upcoming Splatoon 3.
Now, it’s easy to look at this and recognize the service as a total steal. But remember, members pay year by year, meaning they’ll need to pay again and again to continue to get access to these games and downloadable content. This was a big turn-off for many Switch owners at launch, and may continue to cause some to hesitate to commit to the Expansion Pack, knowing they’ll need to repay every year. I can see many current subscribers backing out when it comes time to renew the service.
If Nintendo keeps adding content to the Expansion Pack, then I think I’ll keep paying. There are still more N64 and Sega games coming, as well as the possibility of more DLC for different games, since the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Booster Course Pack wasn’t even announced when the service first launched. I’m personally holding out for additional online libraries for systems like the GameBoy Advance or even the GameCube, but wouldn’t mind a few extra features.
If you have it, do you think the Expansion Pack has been worth it? Do you think you’ll renew your subscription next year? If you don’t have the Expansion Pack, have you been thinking about joining the bandwagon? Let us know in a comment below, or share your thoughts with us in the Boss Rush Discord.