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Nintendo Adds Adults-Only N64 App For Switch In Japan

When you think of Nintendo, you tend to think of family-friendly gaming. You think of Link and Mario and sunshine and smiley stars. The word “adult” doesn’t likely come up when you ponder games on Switch, but that’s seemingly about to change. The company is adding a new 18+ app to its subscription service, Nintendo Switch Online, although only in Japan.

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According to an official video released by Nintendo Japan (via VGC) the company is launching an adults-only NSO app to release Nintendo 64 games. Not every game, mind you, just two specific ones for now: the 1997 spy-shooter GoldenEye 007 and the 1999 space-shooter Jet Force Gemini, the latter announced for international NSO release on November 21. Random, I know, but there’s a reason for Nintendo making this decision. While the two games are rated “T” here in the U.S., over in Japan, the shooters carry a “Z” rating. The Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO), the Japanese government’s rating board, classifies “Z” as being for “18-year-olds and above only,” and bans Z-rated games from being sold to anyone younger.

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Japan restricts Z-rated games

GoldenEye 007 is already available through Nintendo’s subscription service in the U.S., having joined NSO in January 2023 via the $50 annual Expansion Pack. Jet Force Gemini is coming soon, with Nintendo tweeting on November 21 that it’ll hit NSO in December. Over here, both are rated “T,” meaning there were probably no governmental regulatory hoops the company had to jump through to release them in the U.S.

However, considering Z-rated entertainment is the only legally restricted rating in Japan, it makes sense that the company would drop an “adults-only” NSO app. That’s likely the only way these N64 games could come out in Japan.

Kotaku reached out to Nintendo for comment.

Nintendo Switch Online has been running for five years now, making its debut back in September 2018. For $4 a month or $20 a year, you get access to online functionality (to stomp or be stomped in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, for example) as well as an ever-growing library of Game Boy, NES, and SNES games. Since then, the company has grown the service to offer a $50 membership that includes Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, and Sega Genesis games with the upgraded Expansion Pack tier. It hasn’t always worked, with N64 games being particularly buggy when they dropped a couple years ago, but Nintendo has promised to continue improving the service so that they function as advertised.

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