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N64 On The Switch Is Off To A Rough Start

Fans have already found a number of issues with the N64 service included in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, which just launched on Oct. 25. These issues, which fans have compiled on ResetEra and other public forums, include input lag, sound delay, and button mapping. Players were already in an uproar over the price hike for the upgraded subscription, and now they seem even more disappointed that the games aren't running smoothly

The NSO Expansion Pack costs twice as much as the standard annual subscription at $49.99 for a solo account and $79.99 for a family one. It includes access to a library of N64 and Sega Genesis games and the "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" DLC. "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," "Mario Kart 64," and "Yoshi's Island" were just a few of the N64 titles included in the new service, many of which seemed to include some kind of issue.

As an example, "Ocarina of Time" especially received criticism for its input lag and texture issues. ZFG, a known "Ocarina of Time" speedrunner, tweeted that it "might actually be worse" than the Wii U Virtual Console version, which was generally considered a poor adaptation. On the other hand, YouTube channel GameXplain tested "Ocarina of Time" and found a slight but basically imperceptible delay between his N64 and Nintendo Switch set up with the same game. However, he noted that he "isn't an expert" and that player's home setups could exacerbate the lag. 

Input lag isn't the only problem, either

Meanwhile, the button mapping issue doesn't seem to be as much of a bug as it is a weird design choice. Nintendo mapped the A and B buttons from the N64 controller to match the A and B buttons on the Switch. However, the buttons on the N64 actually face the opposite direction, so it's more unintuitive to play than it might sound. Some of the C buttons map to the Switch's X and Y buttons, which aren't anywhere close to where they were on the original N64 controller. Nintendo sells an N64 controller that fixes these issues, but that's even more money for something players didn't anticipate needing. Even worse, there's no option to remap. 

Nintendo hasn't made an official statement about patching these problems anytime soon. However, since the service just launched yesterday, there's a chance changes could come in the future. These initial N64 games are supposedly just the tip of the iceberg, and more are on the way. In fact, players are already dreaming up more Nintendo 64 games that need to come to the Switch. Hopefully, these titles will come after implementing some fixes. At the very least, it seems like the Sega Genesis games are making a lot less noise.