25 years after its initial launch, GoldenEye 007 is making its way onto modern hardware. The Nintendo 64 title developed by Rare is the rare (pun intended) example of a video game adaptation that lives up to its source material. In combination with its addictive multiplayer, this N64 James Bond game has cemented itself as a classic.
After numerous rumors that it would come to modern consoles in one form or another, there was finally some concrete information on September 13: It is coming to Switch! Oh, and Xbox. But they aren’t the same versions? Wow, this is confusing. Let’s get to the bottom of this.
GoldenEye 007 — Xbox vs. Switch
During the meaty Nintendo Direct on September 13, it was announced that GoldenEye 007 would be joining the roster of Nintendo 64 games available through Nintendo’s Switch Online service. There was no date given for when it will appear on the service, but it could be as late as 2023.
The Xbox Game Pass announcement.
At the same time as the Nintendo Direct was happening. original developer Rare tweeted that the game would ALSO be “coming soon” to Xbox Game Pass. While it was assumed this was just Rare’s way of announcing the full platform lineup for GoldenEye 007, it quickly became clear that the feature list of the Switch and Xbox versions was not in fact the same. Fans, journalists, and even the game’s developers are scratching their heads at this conundrum.
Local co-op and story campaign
The long-lasting legacy of GoldenEye 007 comes down to the multiplayer. Running around maps like Facility and yelling about Oddjob being cheating was fodder for a lot of formative gaming experiences. Local co-op will be in both the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass versions of GoldenEye 007.
In addition, the story was a perfect example of how to adapt a film into the medium of games. It fully immersed players in the fantasy of being Bond. The story will also be available on whichever version you pick up.
Bringing one of the best multiplayer games ever made into the modern era requires one big change: online multiplayer. Good news, it is coming to GoldenEye 007!
But only if you play on Nintendo Switch.
Xbox is getting the short end of the stick in this capacity and people are not too happy. Even Rare employees were confused. Grant Kirkhope, one of the original composers of the game, said what many people were thinking when he tweeted, “Online multiplayer exclusive to the Switch?????”
Even without online multiplayer, the Xbox version of GoldenEye 007 has a lot going for it, especially when it comes to improvements over the original release. Rare announced that the Xbox Game Pass version of the game will be playable in 4K and have, “a smoother framerate – even in split-screen local multiplayer.” While no exact framerate is specified it is likely that GoldenEye 007 will run at 60 frames per second.
The Nintendo Switch version will have none of these improvements. This comes down to the fact that the Switch version is an emulated version of the original that plays on Switch, while the Xbox Game Pass is getting a lightly remastered experience.
Exclusive to the Xbox Game Pass version will be the addition of achievements to accomplish throughout the game. Nintendo has always been lacking a real trophy or achievement competitor on their hardware, something they have tried to rectify with “Missions” on Switch online. In reality, these don’t offer any meaningful incentive to complete tasks in a game.
The addition of achievements in GoldenEye 007 on Xbox Game Pass will be a nice way to give players more to do, especially without access to online multiplayer.
When both versions of GoldenEye 007 are eventually released on Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass, it will be up to each player to decide what they are looking for in a modern experience
Do you want updated graphics and a smoother playing experience? Xbox Game Pass is the version for you. Do you want to relive the glory days of having “Slappers only” matches now with the convenience of online play? Then Nintendo Switch is the way to go.