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Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct: The biggest announcements

A meaty premium DLC expansion joins the game’s last major content update

a manatee and a human sitting on the beach together Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Well, now we know why Nintendo wanted to save Animal Crossing: New Horizonsnew content announcements for their own, special 20-minute Nintendo Direct: There’s a lot that’s coming to the game, both free and premium, on Nov. 5.

Several longtime favorite characters will make their New Horizons debut; players will get even more customization and decoration items; and they can go to work planning new vacationers’ dream homes with the Happy Home Paradise paid DLC. That also included the first announcement of pricing for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack the company announced at the end of September.

Here’s a digest of the top news coming out of Friday’s Nintendo Direct livestream.

Get to work for Paradise Planning

New Horizonsfirst premium DLC expansion, Happy Home Paradise, puts players to work as architects and interior decorators building dream getaways for the island’s Paradise Planning development company. There’s so much new to do here, Nintendo devoted 10 minutes of Friday’s show to tease it all. Players will be interviewing their NPC clientele, determining their decoration preferences, and building a home to satisfy their whims. New interior design options show cool floor plans with new lighting and a lot of charm.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack pricing revealed

title card showing the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion pack pricing Image: Nintendo via YouTube

Tucked into the news of Animal Crossing: New Horizons Happy Home Paradise, we also learned the pricing for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack that the company announced back in September. That will be $49.99 annually, or $79.99 for a family plan. Subscribers will get the Happy Home Paradise DLC with their membership. The Expansion Pack also includes several Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games.

Brewster and The Roost return, with plenty of friends

brewster at a coffee shop counter Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Not much of a surprise here — September’s Direct was none too subtle in teasing that The Roost café would open up in New Horizons’ museum. Along with the fan-favorite pigeon barista, players will see the return of the shanty-crooning Kapp’n, the fortune-teller Katrina, and look! They even found a gig for hairstylist Harriet. She’s doing hair on Harv’s hippie commune island.

Tons of new customizations and decorations

Version 2.0 is the last major content update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but at least Nintendo isn’t skimping on what it will include. The new items will decorate both the interior and exterior, including nine new fences and an increase in the cap on bridges and inclines. Inside, players can put up accent walls. Storage will also expand, to accommodate the new options.

Gyroid collecting is back

a character holding a gyroid Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

The return of Brewster naturally means the return of Gyroid collecting, even if The Roost hasn’t housed a Gyroid display since 2008’s Animal Crossing: City Folk. Gyroids can play music and be customized to match home decor. Plus they can be planted and grown to create even more Gyroids.

Stretching, cooking, and new food

Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Players will be able to lead community stretching exercises by setting a boom box down in front of the Resident Services building and punching play. That begins a minigame in which players can use their Joy-Cons to join the exercises, moving them to and fro a la Wii Fit. If you’re more into carb loading, the Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+ item, purchasable with Nook Miles, opens up a slew of baked goods and other tasty treats to cook and eat.

Froggy Chair!

a character with blue hair sitting next to a froggy chair Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Ah, Froggy Chair, quo vadis? It took 18 months for the must-have furniture item to make its way back into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but it’ll be part of the Nov. 5 free content update — which is the last major content update the 2020 game is getting, Nintendo said.