Nintendo 64 is celebrating its 18th birthday in Japan today.
The Nintendo 64 was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France and December 1997 in Brazil.
The N64 was released with two launch games, Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64, and a third in Japan, Saikyō Habu Shōgi. The N64’s suggested retail price was US $199.99 at its launch and it was later marketed with the slogan “Get N, or get Out!”. The console was ultimately released in a range of different colors and designs, and an assortment of limited-edition controllers were sold or used as contest prizes during the N64’s lifespan. The N64 sold 32.93 million units worldwide, and in 2009, it was named the 9th greatest video game console by IGN. Time Magazine named it their 1996 Machine of the Year award.
Of the consoles in the fifth generation, the Nintendo 64 was the last to be released. One of its technical drawbacks was a limited texture cache, which could hold textures of limited dimensions and reduced color depth, which had to be stretched to cover larger in-game surfaces. More significantly, the N64 still relied upon ROM cartridges, which were constrained by small capacity (particularly in an era when games became more complex and their contents took up more memory) and high production expenses, compared to the compact disc format used by its chief competitors. As a result of the N64’s storage media limitations, many third-party publishers that previously supported Nintendo’s past consoles reduced or stopped publishing games; the N64’s most successful games came from first-party or second-party studios.
Do you have fond memories of playing games on the console?