GoldenEye finally returns to consoles. But that good news has been quickly overshadowed thanks to the fact that its next release is not at all easy. There are two versions of the reissue, with different versions for Nintendo Switch and Xbox, and neither of them is the long-awaited remaster that was leaked last year. It’s a strangely convoluted situation.
As part of the recent Nintendo Direct, it was announced that the classic Nintendo 64 shooter GoldenEye is coming to Nintendo Switch Online. Like other games in the Online Collection, this is an emulated version of the Nintendo 64 original, not a remake or remaster. Neverthelesshas a novelty: the online multiplayer.
Around the same time, Rare (the Microsoft-owned studio that created the original version of GoldenEye) announced on Twitter that a reissue of GoldenEye is also coming to Xbox via Game Pass, and will be available for free to owners of the Rare Replay collection. However, the studio’s description of the game makes it instantly clear that Switch and Xbox versions are not the same. The Xbox version “includes achievements, 4K resolution, and a smoother framerate, even in local split-screen multiplayer.” Online multiplayer is not mentioned at all.
Later, Bond’s official website, 007.com, confirmed that online multiplayer is exclusive to the Switch version. He also pointed out that the Xbox version is different from the Switch version, calling it a “4K remaster” rather than a reissue.
25 years after its original release, experience GoldenEye 007 faithfully recreated for Xbox consoles. Includes achievements, 4K resolution and a smoother framerate – even in split-screen local multiplayer! Coming soon to @XboxGamePass. pic.twitter.com/kpBlJKqFR9
— Rare Ltd. (@RareLtd) September 13, 2022
However, this GoldenEye remaster it is not the remaster that has been an open secret among the video game industry for years. Back in the Xbox 360 era, Rare created a complete remaster of GoldenEye with updated graphics and a feature that allowed players to instantly switch between the original and the updated graphics, similar to the Halo 1 and 2 remasters.
This version ended up leaking on the internet in 2021. Following the leak, members of the development team revealed that work on the GoldenEye remaster was almost done and the game was almost ready to be released, but Nintendo stepped in and canceled it.. Supposedly, Nintendo didn’t like the idea of a Nintendo 64 game coming out on a Microsoft console.
Throughout the past year, various leaks revealed GoldenEye’s achievements on Xbox. This may have given some people hope that Rare’s full remaster was finally on the way. News that the game was in limbo due to the Ukraine war would only have fueled that hope. But instead, the version that will be released is nothing more than a high definition version from the original Nintendo 64 version. You’ll have the same ’90s graphics. The updated visual remaster, it seems, is (officially) Rare’s eyes only.
So They are two versions of GoldenEye: one with online multiplayer on a console often used on the go, and one without on a platform known for its world-leading online infrastructure. And neither is the much-desired Rare remaster from the Xbox 360 era. Considering the long-running problems reissuing GoldenEye (due to licensing disputes on multiple fronts), perhaps we should celebrate the fact that we’re going to to have it all, but it seems like a strange kind of celebration.