Why it matters: Nintendo UK’s official Twitter account confirmed today that when Switch owners in Europe play the classic Nintendo 64 games being adding to Switch Online, they’ll be in 60Hz and in English. This assuages the worries of many who have bad memories of 50Hz games in the days of PAL CRTs.
In the announcement, Nintendo UK also confirmed that for some games, European users will be able to select PAL versions in order to play in other languages. Nintendo didn’t say which games will offer this option.
During a Nintendo Direct late last month Nintendo announced it’s planning to add N64 and Sega Genesis (called Sega Mega Drive in Europe) games to its Switch Online service “in late October.” The games Nintendo UK depicted 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 Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack can be played in 60Hz English language versions. Select 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 additional games in the future like Paper Mario, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Pokemon Snap, Banjo Kazooie, and more. The subscription service currently offers a selection of games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES. The N64 and Genesis games will cost extra on top of the current subscription.
When Nintendo announced the N64 games, many European fans were worried they might be limited to the 50Hz PAL versions of those games which were released in Europe.
For those who don’t know, old tube TVs used in Europe (among some other parts of the world) were PAL TVs which displayed images 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 around the PlayStation 2 era ran at lower frame rates. This adjustment is no longer necessary with modern flat-panel displays which is what people will be using to play Switch Online games. One reason users were worried about European Switch Online is because when Nintendo re-released classic games on Virtual Console on the Wii and the Wii U, they were 50Hz.