While tonight’s Nintendo Direct presentation was all about games—and a questionable Super Mario movie casting decisions—Nintendo also announced a new expansion pack for the Nintendo Switch Online’s all-you-can-play retro gaming collection that adds N64 and Sega Genesis games. For those who want a more authentic retro gaming experience, the company is also releasing versions of the N64 and Sega Genesis controllers.
The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack will introduce a small collection of N64 games to the service when it launches, including classics like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time—games that helped usher in the era of 3D graphics and analog controls. Sadly, there’s still no GoldenEye: 007 in sight. The Expansion Pack will also bring Sega Genesis games to the Switch, like Sonic, Ecco the Dolphin, and Castlevania Bloodlines. The expansion will be available in late October, but will be part of a more expensive membership plan, although Nintendo hasn’t revealed specific pricing updates just yet.
Nintendo is releasing a pair of wireless Bluetooth controllers for the Switch alongside the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. The 16-bit Sega Genesis’ gamepad and the N64's unique controller, which was the first to introduce analog joystick controls to console gaming, will each cost $50 and will only be available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers—and presumably those shelling out for the new expansion pack. Whether the N64 controller will inherit the drift issues of the Switch’s Joy-Cons remains to be seen, though the updated controller will probably be using similar hardware.
Nintendo also trotted Shigeru Miyamoto during the event to announce details about the company’s animated Super Mario movie that’s slated to hit theaters in late 2022. The film will include Charles Martinet, who’s been the voice of Mario in Nintendo’s games for decades now, but he won’t actually be voicing Mario this time around. Nintendo has decided that Chris Pratt is a better fit, for some unknown reason. Pratt will be joined by The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, and Charlie Day as Luigi. We’re going to be cautiously optimistic about the casting choices, but Nintendo doesn’t exactly have a solid track record with bringing its properties to the big screen.