Why is this important: The official Nintendo UK Twitter account today confirmed that when Switch owners in Europe play the classic Nintendo 64 games added to Switch Online, they will be in 60Hz and English. This allays the concerns of many who have bad memories of 50Hz gaming in the days of PAL CRTs.
In the announcement, Nintendo UK has also confirmed that for some games, European users will be able to select PAL versions in order to play in other languages. Nintendo has not specified which games will offer this option.
During a Nintendo Direct at the end of last month, Nintendo announced its intention to add N64 and Sega Genesis games (called Sega Mega Drive in Europe) to its Switch Online service “at the end of October”. Nintendo UK games featured in its announcement included Super Mario 64, Dr. Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Sin and Punishment, Yoshi’s Story, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart 64, and WinBack.
All Nintendo 64 games included with the Nintendo Switch Online + expansion pack can be played in 60Hz English versions. Some games will also have the option to play the original European PAL version with language options. pic.twitter.com/gS0ajmtxnY
– Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) October 11, 2021
Nintendo plans to add more games in the future like Paper Mario, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Pokemon Snap, Banjo Kazooie, etc. The subscription service currently offers a selection of games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES. N64 and Genesis games will cost more on top of the current subscription.
When Nintendo announced the N64 games, many European fans were concerned that they would be limited to the PAL 50Hz versions of these games released in Europe.
For those who don’t know, the old tube TVs used in Europe (among other parts of the world) were PAL TVs that displayed pictures at 50Hz as opposed to the 60Hz of Japanese and North American NTSC TVs. To accommodate this, European versions of games for older consoles up to the PlayStation 2 era operated at lower frame rates. This adjustment is no longer necessary with modern flat screens, which is what people will use to play Switch Online games. One of the reasons people worried about European Switch Online is that when Nintendo re-released classic Virtual Console games on the Wii and Wii U, they were at 50Hz.
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