Nintendo will not force Europeans to play crappy N64 games on the Switch
Nintendo of Europe has confirmed that the Nintendo 64 games that will be re-released as part of the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription will run at 60Hz. The news comes after Eurogamer expressed concerns that the re-released games, which include classics such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, would run at a lower 50Hz in European PAL regions.
The discrepancy dates back to the days of standard definition televisions, which used the 50Hz PAL standard in Europe but the 60Hz NTSC standard in the United States. It meant that footage on European televisions would refresh 50 times per second, rather than 60 times per second as in the United States. This wasn't a big deal for regular TV (which typically ran at 30 frames per second in the US and 25 frames per second in the PAL regions), but it had a big impact on games, reducing the smoothness and responsiveness of gameplay.
Concerns that the re-releases in PAL regions would run at 50Hz arose quickly after their Nintendo Direct announcement. According to Eurogamer, the games in the Nintendo UK version were noticeably slower during the broadcast, and Nintendo declined to comment when asked about the discrepancy.
The issue has previously arisen with previous re-releases. Nintendo Life points out that the Wii's Virtual Console included some 50Hz PAL games, but that this will be addressed with the Wii U's Virtual Console service.
In addition to the 60Hz option, Nintendo says that select games will also be available in their original PAL versions "with language options."
When the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack launches in late October, it will include nine Nintendo 64 games as well as a selection of Sega Genesis games. At a later date, more N64 games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and F-Zero X, will be released. The subscription service's cost has yet to be determined.