Well, another week has come and gone meaning that it's time for the Nintendo recap. Welcome, everyone. There's been a few exciting developments this week, including insiders claiming that an N64 emulator on Switch is coming and an update released that finally lets us connect wireless headphones directly to our Switch consoles. Plus, the GameCube hit an important milestone this week, while Bayonetta fans learned they might have something to fear. And although the Switch dropped in price in the UK, we aren't getting the same treatment in the US, unfortunately. Let's dive in.
GameCube celebrates 20 years 🎈🎂🥳
If you enjoyed the GameCube in your youth, you're probably complaining about your back right now while yelling at kids to get off your lawn. This classic system originally launched in Japan on September 14, 2001, which means it hit its 20th anniversary this last Tuesday. Hold on I need to take an aspirin.
It might not have been a commercial success in its time, but this system sparked a legacy that continues to live on.
It's crazy to think that the GameCube is this old. Many of the games on this system were so influential they altered the course of their respective series. Super Smash Bros. Melee, for example, is still debatably the best Smash game as it introduced important new mechanics that continued on with the series.
It was also on this system that we got the first two Metroid Prime games, Luigi's Mansion, Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Resident Evil 4, and the first cell-shaded Zelda with Wind Waker, among other significant classics. Not to mention, it was the first to bring Animal Crossing to consoles in the west. It might not have been a commercial success in its time, but this system sparked a legacy that continues to live on.
N64 on Switch Banjo-Kazooie and other Rare games too?
A few weeks ago, we learned thanks to insider Nate the Hate's podcast that Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are likely coming to Nintendo Switch in the near future. Multiple media outlets reached out to their "sources" and corroborated the idea, but Eurogamer took things even further, stating that "other retro platforms are also in the cards". Going along with this escalation, Nate the Hate and his guest MVG talked this last Wednesday about the likelihood of N64 games coming to Nintendo Switch as well, and at one point he even said, "one of the platforms that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online in the future is the revolutionary Nintendo 64."
Could this be what Phil Spencer's shelf has been teasing us about all year?
Before we all get too excited about replaying the glorious games from our youth on Switch, it's important to remember that there are certain licensing issues with Goldeneye 007. Plus, the fact that Rare, the developer that brought us Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Jet Force Gemini and other gems, is now owned by Microsoft. Now, it is possible that Microsoft and Nintendo could come to some kind of agreement over the Rare titles. This could be what vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer's shelf has been teasing us about all year. Still, it's a long shot.
With the kind of anticipation N64 titles create, a separate N64 emulator subscription could launch alongside Nintendo Switch Online and would likely be somewhere between a yearly $20 and $35 payment. Knowing that this is our only way to legally access these games on current systems, fans would easily do it too.
However, keep in mind that Nintendo already excludes certain classic games from subscription-based emulators, so it's likely the same would happen for this N64 one. The industry-changing Zelda games, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, for example. However, it wouldn't be out of the question for the Japanese gaming company to sell them individually outside of a subscription. Super Mario 64 could also be sold separately and we know it's possible considering the game was already made available on Switch via the limited-run Super Mario All-Stars.
Finally, Bluetooth headphones without a middleman What it means for the OLED model
Get out of here adapters, and don't even look at me, dongles. With the 13.0.0 update Nintendo released on Tuesday night, we can finally connect Bluetooth headsets directly to the Switch without needing an intermediary accessory. Keep in mind that this update does not apply to microphones on headsets, which isn't surprising given that voice chat isn't readily available on Nintendo Switch games. It just took four years since the Switch launched for Nintendo to flip the switch and make an ability it's been capable of all along go live.
This update launched suspiciously close to the OLED Model's release date.
Now the question becomes, why did Nintendo suddenly decide to make Bluetooth headphone connectivity available out of the blue on a Tuesday evening? (Well, Wednesday morning in Japan). It could be it's just been on the back burner for a while and finally just happened to go live. However, launching this suspiciously close to the release of the Switch OLED model could mean it has something to do with ramping up the abilities of the newest console iteration. Depending on just what hardware upgrades are used exactly on the OLED model, it could have the potential to be more powerful than we currently know it to be.
This becomes more apparent when you consider that the 13.0.0 update included a specific update for the OLED model dock, which is interesting as many people hadn't realized it could get an update until now. Gaming news show host, Spawn Wave, noted in a video that if this new dock features HDMI 2.0 rather than the HDMI 1.4 that's been in previous models, it could mean that the dock could eventually support 4K in a future update. That basically means this would pave the way for the "Switch Pro" everyone's been wanting. Dun dun dun! Let the conspiracies fly.
Switch price cut in the UK but not the US
Last week, Nintend'Alerts, a reliable leaker, tweeted that the Switch would be dropping in price come the next Monday. Turns out they were correct. However, this only applies in Europe (and in the UK). When gaming insider Stephen Totilo asked Nintendo about it, he was told that the "price drop was just for Europe."
Now, Nintendo has been known to omit certain truths when responding to direct questions. It's very possible that they're holding off in the US market for now, but could drop the price closer to Black Friday. Regardless, it's strange that this was done in one area and not any others. Though, it won't be surprising if other regions also get a price drop in the next few months.
Bayonetta getting a new voice actor? Uncertain future
Hellena Taylor is best known for voicing our favorite leading witch from the Bayonetta series. However, her comments on Twitter this week have concerned many of her fans. When her fan, @Kafka1z, responded to one of her tweets saying, "You're an icon Hellena I can't imagine Bayonetta without your amazing voice." The actress responded saying, "Well you might have to." This of course got several people asking for more information to which Taylor responded, "I'm not at liberty to say."
No clear developments have come to light since then. Now, you might recall earlier this year that PlatinumGames told its fans to basically stop anticipating Bayonetta 3 news because then they would be surprised when it actually showed up. More recently, the company has gone on to say that news about the game's release is actually up to Nintendo. But rest assured the game is currently being worked on and the developers are looking forward to the release. In an interview with VGC, Atsushi Inaba, PlatinumGames' studio head, even said that "There's no need to worry...Everything's OK."
We'll just have to be patient a little while longer. Nintendo tends to have meticulous controlled plans for when each game releases on its systems. Whether the titular Bayonetta character continues with the series or not, we do at least know that this game is making progress and should hopefully release in the near future.
That's all for the Nintendo recap
Welp, that's all we've got for this week's Nintendo recap. What do you think about an N64 emulator on Switch possibly coming to Nintendo Switch Online? What games would make it worth it to you? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear