It has been announced that a remaster of the popular 1997 James Bond first-person shooter will launch January 27 for both Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online. It was first announced back in September 2022 that the title would be coming for both systems, however, no release date was given until two days before launch.
In the September announcement that online play would be exclusive to the Switch while the Microsoft version would include a 4K remaster.
GoldenEye 007 was a huge success on the Nintendo 64 back in 1997. It was notable for several reasons:
- It was one of the first first-person shooters to do well on console systems
- It was a mature title for a younger targeted Nintendo system
- It had a close tie-in to the James Bond GoldenEye movie
A relaunch of this classic game has been anticipated for years but there were issues because it was a Nintendo game, developed by Rare who Microsoft acquired in 2002, and used the James Bond license. The original announcement came via the MGM James Bond site so it is assumed they helped broker a compromise.
What is notable is that this is basically an exclusive for online subscribers to either the Xbox Game Pass or the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. Furthermore, online play, a big attraction of the game, is exclusive to the Switch Online version.
This has to be a big win for Nintendo. The Switch has been behind Xbox and PlayStation platforms when it comes to online play. The original GoldenEye 007 was pre-online play but the title was noted for its split-screen multiplayer that allowed up to 4 players to compete the old-fashioned (together in a room on a single TV set). The Game Pass version will include this local multiplayer but it appears adding online play will be exclusive to Switch consumers.
Switch Online has reached 36 million subscribers despite being a service mainly for older titles from the 1980s and 1990s. It was last announced in January 2022 that Game Pass only had 25 million subscribers (Microsoft did not update this number in its January 2023 financial filing).
As a minor side note, consumers that bought the 2015 Xbox One game Rare Replay will be able to download GoldenEye 007 without being a Game Pass subscriber. Otherwise the title will be exclusive to subscribers. Rare Replay was a compilation of 30 classic Rare developed games and is one of the first time Microsoft has tried to capitalize on its IP library.