European Nintendo 64 Titles Will Be Slower on Nintendo Switch Online

Due to the European N64 titles being PAL roms, they are 50 hz instead of 60 hz.

Published: September 24, 2021 10:34 AM /


Nintendo Direct

As part of yesterday's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo 64 titles will be available worldwide. What's relatively unknown is that European users (if they download the European app) will be forced to use PAL Nintendo 64 titles if they choose to use the European app. This is a bad thing because European N64 titles are stuck at 50 hz compared to 60 hz for North American and Japanese N64 titles. This means that Europeans will have an inferior gaming experience if they use the default experience that Nintendo will be providing them.

Why are European Nintendo Switch Online N64 Games Slower?

For a number of games the difference could be minimal, but for large titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time players will end up with a slower experience. There was no change in the games code when the game was ported from running at 60Hz to 50Hz and because of that Ocarina of Time in Pal regions gets everything done 1/6th slower. There are certainly Nintendo 64 games where the conversion was done better that a smaller difference will be noticed. Don't believe me? Check out the North American version here and the PAL (European) version here.

Each regional rom will also retain whatever differences they had in their original releases, for example the PAL version of Ocarina of Time has a slightly wider frame than the NTSC version. Any version specific languages or glitches will also remain as no additional work has been put into the original roms. Leaving the roms unchanged makes sense though as effort would need to be put into every single regional variant of every rom to create a unified experience.

Still, yesterday's Nintendo Direct was a good experience overall. However, if you are a European who wants to recapture some nostalgia and not be limited by the PAL format, there's a very easy way you can do that.

How can I play North American or Japanese N64 games if I'm from Europe?

It's easy! Just do this:

  • Create a new free Nintendo Switch account for that different region.
  • Access that region store with the free account.
  • Download the free NSO console app.
  • Launch the app with your account that has a valid NSO subscription.

It's a fairly simply process and can be done for any region. The only difficult part might be creating an account for Japan due to the foreign language, but I'm sure there are some guides out there on good ol' Google.

Overall, this is pretty exciting, isn't it? And we might not even be done either. Even as far back as 2019 the Switch has been found to have other potential NSO emulators built in, and the rumor mill is still whirling about Gameboy and Gameboy Advanced titles coming to the Switch.

For more information on all things Nintendo, stay tuned to TechRaptor.

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Patrick is a former Staff Writer for TechRaptor and has been gaming on every console he could get since he could hold a controller. He’s been writing for… More about Patrick