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Here Is Everything We Know So Far About 1996’s Nintendo 64


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Released to much acclaim and commercial success back in 1996, the Nintendo 64 is a system that continues to captivate the attention and imagination of gamers, even today. In the decades since its release, many details have come to light about the system, yet it can still be incredibly frustrating to find all of them in one streamlined place.  So with that in mind, here is everything we know so far about the Nintendo 64, released 24 years ago this month. 

  • Nicknamed “Project Reality” and “Ultra 64,” at different points of its inception. 
  • A part of the fifth generation of video game consoles
  • Retailed for $199.99 at launch 
  • Games held on either 32 or 64 MB cartridges 
  • First unveiled to the public on November 24, 1995
  • Displays resolutions from 320×240 to 640×480 pixels.
  • Four controller ports (!)
  • The central processing unit is an NEC VR4300
  • Contains 4 MB of Rambus RDRAM, which was later made expandable to 8MB (more on that later)
  • At one point was meant to launch in Christmas of 1995, before being pushed back to the following September
  • Outputted video in two formats; S-video and composite
  • Dozens of sports titles available
  • Directly competed with Sega’s Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation
  • Named Time magazine’s 1996 ‘Machine of the Year’
  • Rumble Pak peripheral made it the first gaming console to feature vibration feedback
  • Sold significantly better in North America than in Japan. 
  • Craig got one
  • Software library includes such classics as Mario 64, Super Smash Brothers, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye, and others.  
  • Software library will never ever appear on Nintendo Online service for the Switch, despite the public clamoring for it
  • Available in several colors, with dark grey being the standard
  • Does not play tapes 
  • 296 Nintendo 64 games have been released so far, most of them coming in the late ‘90s.
  • Probably would be okay to carry one onto a flight, but none of us are sure why you would want to. 
  • Launched with just two games in North America, Pilotwings 64 and Super Mario 64
  • There will never be a Nintendo 64 Mini, despite the public clamoring for it 
  • They made an extra chip you could put in it 
  • Though not advertised in the title, was significantly more “Super” than the Super Nintendo of 5 years earlier. 
  • Not backward or forwards compatible with any other system’s library.
  • There is NOT a little guy in there that makes the games play 

Well there you have it, an exhaustive list of everything we know (so far) about the Nintendo 64 system. Stay tuned to this space, as we will be updating it as more details become known! We are always learning new things about the world of video games.

Check out our comedy podcast The Video Game Super Show! Show, in which two of our editors watch and discuss every episode of  1989’s Captain N: The Game Master: