Nintendo: Switch Online & Expansion To Grow Amid Game Boy Rumors

In a briefing, Nintendo said Nintendo Switch Online and its Expansion Pack will be improved and expanded on in the future, with the confirmation of new titles amid rumors of Game Boy games releasing for Switch at some point. Nintendo Switch Online is required for online multiplayer functionality in Switch games, but subscribers also receive access to games from retro Nintendo systems.

The basic Nintendo Switch Online service grants access to a library of NES and SNES games like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario World, as well as some newer exclusives like Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99. The basic membership also comes with free trials for full Switch games. More recently, customers willing to pay for the premium Nintendo Switch+ Expansion Pack tier gain access to N64 and Sega Genesis games, in addition to the newly released DLC expansion for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

Related: Zelda: Why Ocarina of Time's Water Looks Worse on Switch

There have been rumors circulating about Game Boy and Game Boy Color games coming to Nintendo Switch Online for a while, but they were originally expected to be announced for Switch at the previous Nintendo Direct, where N64 and Sega Genesis titles were revealed instead. However, the classic portable handheld games could still be on the cards. A statement made by Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa in the company's latest financial briefing says there are plans to expand and improve the Nintendo Switch Online and Expansion Pack services going forward, which presumably will entail the addition of more games - and possibly more emulated consoles.

The rumors of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games coming to Nintendo Switch Online were recently stoked again, as a datamine of the Switch Expansion Pack app revealed there's a missing database entry in the  retro console lineup. NES is listed as the first system, followed by SNES, N64, and the Sega Genesis is listed as the fifth entry in exposed code. It's speculated that the Game Boy/Game Boy Color is the missing fourth console, though it's unclear why it would have been skipped in the outlined order.

The addition of Game Boy games to Nintendo Switch Online or its Expansion Pack seems like a natural fit. If Nintendo can get Pokémon Red and Blue, and perhaps even Pokémon Gold and Silver, on its subscription service with online functionality, those classics alone would be a large draw. That's not to say the rest of the Game Boy library is inferior - the handheld hardware line is home to many iconic first- and third-party titles - but the appeal of retro Pokémon games on Nintendo Switch Online would be high. That would especially be the case if they were made compatible with Pokémon Home, like the versions on the 3DS Virtual Console.

Next: Zelda: Ocarina of Time Switch vs. N64 Video Shows What's Missing

Source: Nintendo

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