Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

As revealed in Nintendo’s February 2022 Direct, the Switch Online Expansion Pack will include 48 additional DLC tracks for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, adding to the growing list of benefits. With the addition of Animal Crossing: New Horizons Happy Home Paradise DLC, we have access to the entire library of N64 and Mega Drive games (which are being sloooowly released).

We’ve covered the NSO Expansion Pack extensively on Nintendo Life. We’ve compared it to Sony and Microsoft’s (very different) subscription services, and said it’s a great value for some people, despite the fact that it was highly controversial when it was first announced.. There were some negative responses to our polls from readers, and we all agreed that the subscription price was too high based on the number of games available. Even though the new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC tracks aren’t nothing, early results from a poll we conducted today show that a significant number of gamers aren’t interested in the Expansion Pack. Yet.

Expansion Pack for Nintendo Switch Online

As of right now, the Expansion Pack is drawing a mixed response, and I’m not here to try to sway your thinking on it. Aside from the Happy Home Designer DLC and the nostalgia of Banjo-terrible Kazooie’s camera controls, I haven’t seen a lot of value in being a subscriber.

This is why I believe Nintendo’s cautious approach to subscription models could eventually lead to something far more substantial.

When I worked as a fundraiser for a charity, I focused on people who agreed to donate $5 a month instead of a one-time donation of a few hundred dollars. Even if the latter earns more money over time, the most important lesson I took away from that job is that companies prefer steady, small but predictable income over unpredictable income.

How come? Why? Because budgeting with a steady income is simpler. This means that, if someone has agreed to pay £5 a month for the next two years, you can use that money to pay for someone’s salary or your rent. As anyone who has ever worked as a freelancer can tell you, it’s difficult to plan a budget when your income is unpredictable.

Isn’t it a good deal, at least?

You may be wondering why Nintendo didn’t just make the Expansion Pass irresistible from the start if it can continue to make it more enticing to a wider range of people.

It’s reasonable to assume that any new business venture comes with some degree of risk. Nintendo would have had to spend money on infrastructure, user interface, emulation, and a team to set it all up, without knowing if it would get a significant return on that investment with the Expansion Pass in particular. Investors, who have a stranglehold on publicly traded companies, hate to see money being “wasted” without a significant return, even if Nintendo has a lot of cash. Sigh.

See how many games are over a decade old?

It’s understandable that Nintendo would be wary and cautious about expanding the relatively new subscriber service, but hopefully now that it’s proven to be popular, a lot more stuff will be added as incentives to make the package really enticing.

Xbox Game Pass began as a massive bet […] a proposition that has only become successful due to the support it has received. Xbox Game Pass supporters.

It’s not the only subscription service making waves in the gaming industry. One of the best investments you can make right now if you have either a PC or an Xbox is to sign up for the Xbox Game Pass. If you don’t like a game, you lose nothing but your time. Of course, it didn’t start that way.

The launch of Xbox Game Pass was something of a gamble. Microsoft primarily focused on old games and new games — like Rare’s Sea of Thieves — from studios it owned in order to mitigate that risk. Five years after the Game Pass’s launch, it’s easy to say that the gamble was worth it, but hindsight is 20/20. Truthfully, Game Pass was a concept that only became a success because of the support it received. For every additional person who buys Xbox Game Pass, a larger amount of money is available for developers to pay for day-one Game Pass releases.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Nintendo Switch Online service will not feature day-one releases. Look no further than the February Direct, which was almost entirely devoted to remasters of old JRPGs and ports of obscure, niche PlayStation games, as well as brand-new games like Triangle Strategy that were given a nostalgic makeover despite being completely new. DLC tracks for Mario Kart 8 are just old tracks for a game that’s eight years old.

Despite your insistence that it is not eight years old,

In the long run, however, I believe that the Expansion Pack’s scope will expand and its value will improve. I’m not begging you, dear readers, to put money into the service now to entice Nintendo; Nintendo has the onus of demonstrating the service’s worth. However, I believe Nintendo has finally realised that subscriptions are not only the future of games, but also the future of how people wish to play games. Why pay $70 for a single game when you can get access to a library of games for $15?

As I see it, Nintendo will forge its own path and create its own incentives instead of following Sony’s PS Plus and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, which offer monthly free games and full access to the Game Pass catalogue. Free trials for games and access to Nintendo’s NES, Snes and Mega Drive and N64 games, plus DLC for a few games, are already available — but we could get early access to big games a week before release, or online services like Splatoon 3’s multiplayer, sooner than others.

Nintendo Is Learning The Benefits Of Subscription

With subscription services like Spotify, the main drawback is making sure that the developers get their fair share of the profits and that smaller indie games don’t get snubbed out. Those are issues for another day, my friends.

As it stands, the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack is a no-brainer if it continues to improve. Nintendo has a goldmine on its hands, and all it needs to do is continue digging.

By Adam

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