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During its latest Nintendo Direct broadcast on Thursday, Nintendo confirmed that N64 titles would be coming to its Switch Online library in October.
In a montage of games shown as part of the stream, Banjo-Kazooie was shown as one of the games coming to the subscription service:
In a press release issued to VGC after the Direct, Nintendo confirmed that Banjo-Kazooie would be released as part of a future wave of N64 titles, alongside the likes of Paper Mario and F-Zero X.
Banjo-Kazooie’s original developer Rare said in a statement: “It’s a pleasure to be ushering the bear and bird onto Nintendo’s latest console, offering another modern way (alongside @ and Rare Replay) to savour its many collectibles and googly eyes.”
The addition of Banjo to Nintendo’s Switch Online library could indicate that further Rare games might come to the service in the future, although none were announced on Thursday.
Xbox has dabbled in collaborating with Nintendo over the past few years. It published the first Ori game for Nintendo’s platform in September 2019, followed by its sequel last year, as well as another former Xbox One exclusive, Cuphead.
Steve Mayles, the character designer responsible for Banjo and Kazooie, told VGC that he was pleased for the fans who’ve waited many years for a new Banjo-Kazooie appearance.
“It’s wonderful to see Banjo and Kazooie return after 11 years in gaming wilderness, and back to their spiritual home on a Nintendo console no less,” he said.
“I’m really pleased for all the passionate Banjo fans who never lost faith that their heroes would one day come back! The duo are a great fit for Smash Ultimate – I can’t wait to make them Rat-a-tat-Rap Sonic in the face. Take that hedgehog boy!”
Sakurai has previously spoken of his satisfaction with the result of Grant Kirkhope’s Smash Bros. music.