|Release Date||JP: June 23, 1996|
|On the Market||Japan: 1996-2002
North America: 1996-2003
|Introduction Price||Around $199 RRP|
|Total Units Shipped||32.93 million|
|CPU||64-bit NEC VR4300 @ 93.75 MHz|
|Storage||64MB Game Pak, some games needing the Controller Pak to save data.|
|Graphics||SGI RCP @ 62.5 MHz|
|Controller Input||N64 Controller|
|Best Selling Game||Super Mario 64|
|Also Known as||Ultra64 [Beta name]|
The Nintendo 64 [or ニンテンドー64] is the third home console released by Nintendo. It was Nintendo's answer to Sony's PlayStation and Sega's Saturn . The console was released in the month of June 1996 in Japan with 3 games available on launch. These were Super Mario 64 (a 3D Platformer), Pilot Wings 64 (A flight simulator) and Japan exclusive Saikyō Habu Shōgi (A board game)
As expected, Nintendo was under a lot of pressure to ensure Super Mario 64 was well recieved, as Sony was competing with their Crash Bandicoot game and Sega planning their ultimately cancelled Sonic X-treme. They were all 3D platformers with similar[ish] gameplay.
- Main article: List of Nintendo 64 games
The Nintendo 64 was extremely popular at the time, and several award winning games were released soley on the system (such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is widely regarded as the best video game of all time). Other popular games include Super Mario 64, Goldeneye 007, Mario Kart 64, and Donkey Kong 64.
Demise of the 64DDEdit
The classic story of why one should not put all their metaphorical eggs in their metaphorical bascket. Even before the Ultra 64 was released, Nintendo were planning a Floppy Drive add-on, this would allow for an internal clock and extended memory available to the developers.
The developers then moulded their games around the 64DD, making it a core feature of the N64. These games included EarthBound 64, Banjo Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Ura Zelda (unreleased, still waiting Nintendo). However, the 64DD did not make the expected sales, and with the only stand-out game was Mario Paint (an animation studio) the project was discontinued. This lead to the cancellation of many hyped games, including Mother 3 however it did eventually get a GBA release.
Due to the way content was burned onto N64 cartridges, the ROMs can be ripped and used on external emulators. This has sadly left a lot of room for piracy, and Nintendo has yet to sell these ROMs [with appropriate DRM] although there is a big market for them. These emulators allow cheats and Tool Assisted Speedruns to take place. One such emulator is Project64.