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GoldenEye 007 Is Coming to Nintendo Switch With Online Multiplayer, Xbox With 4K Visuals

The updated version of the beloved 1997 Nintendo 64 first-person shooter will hit Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox Game Pass "soon."

Guards confront James Bond in a GoldenEye 007 screenshot
GoldenEye 007 is hitting Nintendo Switch and Xbox at long last.
Rare

Load up your silenced PP7s and prime those remote mines: GoldenEye 007 is coming to Nintendo Switch Online, adding online multiplayer for the first time, the company revealed in Tuesday's Nintendo Direct livestream. The James Bond-themed first-person shooter will join the Switch's selection of Nintendo 64 classics "soon," the company said.

It'll also come to Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S, and developer Rare noted that this version will include "achievements, 4K resolution and a smoother framerate." It's unclear if the Switch version's visuals will be upgraded (Nintendo's console doesn't support 4K; we asked Nintendo, Rare and Microsoft to clarify) or remain closer to the N64 original, but the Switch and Xbox versions will come out on the same day.

In an apparent trade-off, online multiplayer will be exclusive to the Switch version, the official 007 website noted. The Xbox version will also be available for free to people who own a digital copy of Rare Replay, the 30-game compilation of classics that came out in 2015.

GoldenEye 007 hit the N64 in 1997, as a licensed tie-in to the 1995 movie that introduced actor Pierce Brosnan as the legendary British agent. The game won critical acclaim for its fun single-player campaign and epic split-screen competitive multiplayer and became the N64's third bestselling title, with 8.09 million units sold. It was only topped by Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, which sold 11.91 million and 9.87 million copies, respectively.

Rare also developed GoldenEye followup Perfect Dark for N64 in 2000, before Microsoft acquired the company in 2002.

Fans have been expecting a remaster for Microsoft's Xbox Series X and S to be revealed for months, since achievements for this remaster have leaked multiple times. It was reportedly planned for release on Xbox 360 in the late 2010s, and an apparent extended gameplay video appeared in 2016. At the time, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the game's licensing rights complicated efforts to get it on the console. The versions revealed on Tuesday don't appear to be the remasters; the Switch release seems to visually identical to the N64 one, while the Xbox release looks like an upscaled edition of the original.

"Great to see that GE007 is being made available again. I hope this means that a new generation will get to experience and enjoy the game," David Doak, a developer whose face was famously used for in-game Bond ally Dr. Doak, tweeted after the announcement. "It was an absolute privilege to be part of the talented team that created it 25 years ago."

He also tweeted a recent shot of him dressed like his in-game counterpart, and joked that players shouldn't "come crying" to him if they have trouble unlocking the infamous Invincibility cheat. That's one of the game's most difficult challenges -- you have to beat Facility in under 2 minutes and 5 seconds to get it. 

Read moreGoldenEye at 20: We Raise a Martini to a Classic Game

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Bond movie franchise -- with latest film No Time to Die now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video -- but the series is in a state of flux as fans await the announcement of Daniel Craig's successor in the role. Hitman developer IO Interactive is also working on its own Bond game.

Nintendo is also adding Pilotwings 64, Mario Party 1,2 and 3, Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2, 1080 Snowboarding and Excitebike 64 to the Nintendo Switch Online N64 library this year and next, it said Tuesday.