Executives may be reanimating the Nintendo 64 in time with rumored Game Boy and Game Boy Color re-releases, recent reports indicate. A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) review of an upcoming Nintendo Switch controller coincides with insider talks of N64 games arriving on the platform during the Nintendo 64’s 25th anniversary on September 29. Switch Online has had vintage re-releases packed into subscription fees every year since it launched nine days earlier in 2018 and no such reveals happened on the 18th. The only reasonable explanation is Nintendo must be holding off updates till developers are ready to synchronize the N64 re-releases with a special JoyCon made only for emulated N64 games.
The FCC review of a mystery BKEHAC043 with Bluetooth capability and a 3.5 mW power output tells very little of the Nintendo 64 story. Most of the report’s been blocked off for confidentiality and we’d have to wait 180 days for the details to go public. Since model numbers for the Nintendo Switch all end with the prefix HAC, the application filed on Thursday most definitely refers to the hybrid console, just not what for. Since a Game Boy or Game Boy Color re-release wouldn’t necessarily require a replica controller, sleuths claim N64 backward compatibility to be the only reveal that makes sense.
Rumors of a Nintendo 64 re-release on Switch Online are quite recent. Nate the Hate, who also leaked imminent Game Boy and Game Boy Color re-releases ahead of Eurogamer’s official report, followed up on his August 30 broadcast with a new episode on September 15 — exactly one day before Nintendo’s FCC application went live on their website. MVG once again joined NateDrake on his Wednesday podcast and speculated actively on N64 games coming to the Nintendo Switch. Industry experts have weighed in on the issue and corroborated findings since.
@SamusHunter2 was the first to publicize the FCC review on Twitter, a fact that happens to be previously unknown. Nintendeal provided complementary information that has yet to be substantiated, and insists HAC-043 is a Nintendo 64 JoyCon because it’s already long established HAC-042 is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, or Famicom for users outside of North America) controller. The new JoyCon will reportedly have the same battery source as the SNES equivalent and will come with USB-C charging capability. LootPoots founding editor Jack Parsons (@pixelpar) shared a screen grab of Nintendo representative Yoshihiro Tanaka’s email request for full confidentiality, describing the FCC application as containing trade secrets and other proprietary technical information. The new controller seems to have been tested by FCC upon arrival.
Considering emulator apps are often made available at no cost, any and all additional vintage re-releases may incur a substantial increase in Nintendo Switch Online subscription fees. Last we checked, the eShop currently offers 80 NES games and 50 SNES games, with more on the way. And if insiders are right, then Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance titles are not the only NSO features being given away in coming weeks. Who’s up for some retro Mario Party-ing on a revamped Nintendo 64?