Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack N64 Emulation Improved Yet Again

The introduction of Nintendo 64 games via the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscription was welcomed by fans, given many of those games were no longer available on modern platforms. However, many such fans were frustrated to find that the Nintendo 64 emulation software running on Switch had performance issues, with many games failing to reach the quality of their original releases. However, recent updates to Nintendo Switch Online show that Nintendo is working on improvements.

This past week, Nintendo released version 2.0.0 of Nintendo Switch Online's Nintendo 64 service. It's a patch specifically for the Nintendo 64 content shared via the subscription service. Nintendo's typically quiet about the details on these types of updates. The one confirmed addition with the patch was the release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. More changes than just Majora's Mask were made, however, with improvements being made to several Nintendo 64 games.

The Nintendo 64 on Switch community was able to make a list of the changes that it has been able to confirm. The biggest of which is a fix for fog in multiple games. For example, the Choco Mountain stage in Mario Kart 64 has had fog re-enabled, a key feature on the track. Additionally, fog has been reintroduced to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Water Temple room, Kakariko village, and the Forest Temple. Several smaller Ocarina of Time changes were also made, like a lighting issue in the House of Skulltula and "reflections" in the Water Temple room.

Other changes include a fix to a game-crashing bug in Paper Mario where dying with Watt as a partner would crash the game, slightly improved input delay in Ocarina of Time, unclear changes to Banjo-Kazooie, and one other notable decision. The patch's Lua scripts are now pre-compiled, which in effect prevents dataminers from seeing the code and learning certain specific changes.

While 2.0.0 for Nintendo Switch Online's Nintendo 64 emulation does fix some well-known problems, it doesn't fix everything. It's not an issue of the Switch being unable to fully emulate Nintendo 64 releases so much as there are a lot of edge cases that require developers to fix them individually. That's if they can find the root problem in the first place.

It's a shame that Nintendo 64 games on the Nintendo Switch aren't matching the quality of the original experience. Still, it's better to have these games available in some capacity rather than not at all. Nintendo is hopefully learning from the situation and the Nintendo 64 experience on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack will continue to improve going forward.

Related Forum: Gaming Discussion



"Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack N64 Emulation Improved Yet Again" :: Login/Create an Account :: 2 comments

If you would like to post a comment please signin to your account or register for an account.


It's great seeing the old classics emulated on the new handheld


They need xbox emulator to be considered cool

Gaming Headlines