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Nintendo Switch Online now has 40 NES games

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Nintendo Switch

With next week's addition of Donkey Kong Jr., Clu Clu Land and VS. Excitebike, the total number of Nintendo Entertainment System games on the Nintendo Switch Online Service will hit 40 total titles. Nintendo is treating this as something of a milestone, and I suppose it is; 40 classic games on your $20-a-year online service sounds like a pretty decent deal. Tetris 99 also sweetens the pot; the purely competitive Tetris rank-chaser has become a small phenomenon on Youtube.

That said, I still have serious reservations about the Nintendo Switch Online Service. If you let your subscription lapse, all of those classic games vanish, and this service has little else to justify itself; other than the NES games, it amounts to little more than a paywall for online play and cloud save backups.

I prefer to own my classic games, not lease them from a streaming service, which I why I was really hoping I could import the dozens of Virtual Console purchases I've made over the years, which are now marooned on my Wii U and 3DS. Sadly leading your Virtual Console games to the Switch Online promised land doesn't seem to be in the cards for retro Nintendo fans. Besides that, 40 NES games ultimately isn't that big a bargain anymore, especially for a service that is 7 months old and rather light on exclusive content.

Where are the Super Nintendo games? What about N64, or GameCube for that matter? I still have to keep my Wii plugged in to play Mario Sunshine, when it should be front-and-center on the eShop. $20 a year is not a lot of money, I'll give them that, but until Nintendo starts adding a significant back catalog and improves online multiplayer performance, especially in Smash Bros, I have little incentive to purchase a subscription. This weekly trickle of NES games is getting old--we had to endure that with the Virtual Console, twice, and frankly I don't have the patience anymore. To be blunt, it's cheaper to fire up my Wii U and play old NES games there.

I like the idea of Nintendo Switch Online--a massive digital library at your fingertips--but so far the service is falling pretty short of its potential.

Nintendo News: More Than 40 NES Games Now Available to Play on Nintendo Switch Online

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On May 15, classic NES games Donkey Kong Jr., Clu Clu Land and VS. Excitebike are coming to the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online collection, bringing its total number of games to more than 40. That’s dozens of classic games that can be played on the Nintendo Switch system anytime and anywhere with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, with even more games on the way!

On May 15, classic NES™ games Donkey Kong Jr.™, Clu Clu Land™ and VS. Excitebike™ are coming to the  ...

On May 15, classic NES™ games Donkey Kong Jr.™, Clu Clu Land™ and VS. Excitebike™ are coming to the Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online collection, bringing its total number of games to more than 40. Based on the popular arcade game, Donkey Kong Jr. is the sequel to the immensely successful Donkey Kong™ game. (Graphic: Business Wire)

  • Donkey Kong Jr. – Based on the popular arcade game, Donkey Kong Jr. is the sequel to the immensely successful Donkey Konggame. Play as Donkey Kong’s son, and rescue your dad who has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a cage by Mario. Use jumping and climbing abilities to clamber up vines and chains, gather vital fruit and keys, and open the cage to free your father. Make sure you avoid the pesky birds, nasty electric sparks and creepy chompers. Four different worlds filled with numerous climbing and jumping puzzles await you in this timeless classic.
  • VS. Excitebike – Fans love the Excitebike game for its frenetic races, high stakes and sweet jumps. With this game, you can take it to the next level with the Famicom disk version of VS. Excitebike – complete with two-player split screen. Create tracks from 20 classic Excitebike track parts, and go for a best time or take on friends. Racing is even more exciting when the rivalries are real. You can also try out the single-player mode in VS. Excitebike. It adds tracks, music and the ability to save your high score.
  • Clu Clu Land – The greedy Sea Urchins have stolen all of Clu Clu Land’s gold bars and buried them in a series of mazes. As Bubbles, a brave bubble fish, you’ll set out to uncover all of the gold bars in each maze. With 20 stages to complete and increasingly complex conditions (like having to pass over the gold bars twice to uncover them), you might just want to bring along a friend for help.

These three games join classics like Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and many others, all of which have been enhanced with online features.

Nintendo Switch Online members also have access to the free-to-download software Tetris® 99 as a special offer. The game includes online events like the Tetris 99 MAXIMUS CUP events.

Other features of the Nintendo Switch Online service include online play and Save Data Cloud backup in compatible games, plus a smartphone app that enhances features of supported games.

The Nintendo Switch Online app now includes Smash World, a new service for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game. With Smash World, players can use a mobile device to view recommended gameplay videos and download custom stages created in the game’s Stage Builder mode directly to their game, providing more ways than ever before to share their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate experience with others.

To make playing NES games feel more authentic, Nintendo Switch Online members with a paid membership can purchase Nintendo Entertainment System controllers* that are compatible with Nintendo Switch by visiting https://nesc.nintendo.com/nintendo-entertainment-system-controllers.

For more information about Nintendo Switch Online, to view membership options and to learn about a free seven-day trial for new users, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/online-service/.

Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required. Persistent Internet, compatible smartphone and Nintendo Account age 13+ required to use app. Data charges may apply. Online play, Save Data Cloud and Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app features available in compatible games. Not available in all countries. The Nintendo Account User Agreement, including the Purchase and Subscription terms, apply. nintendo.com/switch-online

*Limit one purchase per Nintendo Account with paid Nintendo Switch Online individual or family membership. Offer not available for trial membership. These controllers are optional and not required to play the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online collection of games.

Clu Clu Land ©1984 Nintendo.
Donkey Kong ©1981 Nintendo.
Donkey Kong Jr. ©1982 Nintendo.
The Legend of Zelda ©1986 Nintendo.
Super Mario Bros. 3 ©1988 Nintendo.
Tetris ® & © 1985~2019 Tetris Holding.
VS. Excitebike ©1988 Nintendo.