The Japanese version of Nintendo Switch Online’s N64 game service features the rumble-enhanced version of Super Mario 64, but the western version doesn’t.
As with the NES and SNES collections, Japanese players get a different version of the app containing the Japanese-language versions of each game, including box art specific to that region.
While the Japanese app shows the box art for the launch version of Super Mario 64, however, players actually get the Shindou edition which was released in 1997.
This version includes support for the Rumble Pak accessory, and since the Switch Online app also supports rumble, this means players can enjoy the game with vibration.
Since the Shindou edition of Super Mario 64 was only released in Japan, the North American and European versions of the Switch app only receive the standard launch version of the game with no rumble included.
Although at first glance this appears to be a setback for western players, it’s still possible to obtain the Japanese version of the app through a straightforward workaround.
Players can create a second Switch account registered to Japan and access the Japanese eShop, where the free Nintendo 64 app can be downloaded.
By then playing this app with their main account (the one with their Switch Online and Expansion Pack membership), their membership will still be acknowledged and they can gain access to the Japanese games, including the rumble-supported Super Mario 64.
At the time of writing, with the app newly launched, the Japanese version has no extra benefits – indeed, it’s actually missing a game which is present in the European and North American apps, Dr Mario 64.
Over time, however, it’s possible that some Japan-only games will only be released on the Japanese app, as happened on the NES and SNES apps with games like Adventures of Lolo 2, Famicom Wars, and numerous Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei titles.
The Expansion Pack tier – which is required to play N64 and Sega games – costs $49.99 / €39.99 / £34.99 for a 12 month individual membership, while a Family Membership costs $79.99 / €69.99 / £59.99 for 12 months.
This represents at least a doubling in price from the standard tier, which costs $20 individually or $35 for a family membership.
In addition to a new selection of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive games, the Expansion Pack tier will also include the paid DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons at no additional cost.
Switch Online’s N64 launch games include Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, Yoshi’s Story, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Dr Mario 64, Sin & Punishment and WinBack.
The European version of the app allows players to access both the 60hz North American NTSC versions and 50hz European PAL versions of the games.