10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 is one of the most iconic and successful video game consoles ever created. It was released in 1996, marking the start of 3D gaming on home consoles. The console was revolutionary in so many ways and offered unparalleled experiences for players. It also marked a new era for Nintendo. After gaining massive success with their Family Computer (or the original NES as it’s often called) in the 1980s, they had struggled to replicate that success ever since. Luckily, things changed with the release of this console. Nintendo had found its groove again and was back at it once more. But what made this console such a huge deal? Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Nintendo 64:
1: The Nintendo 64 was originally supposed to be called the Ultra 64
The Nintendo 64 had a long and complex history right from its conception. It all began in 1989, when Hiroshi Yamauchi, the then-head of the Nintendo Corporation, announced his intention to create a new gaming console. The intention behind this move was to create a viable successor to the NES. It was to be called the Advanced Entertainment System, or AES. Unfortunately, it could not get the green light from the U.S. Government, which prohibited the use of the term “video game console” in the U.S. In 1993, Nintendo officially announced the NES’s successor: the Nintendo Ultra 64 (or the Ultra 64 for short). It was later changed to Advanced Ultra 64, or A3 Ultra for short, before eventually settling on the Nintendo 64 moniker.
2: It’s one of the most powerful gaming consoles ever made
Nintendo 64 is widely considered one of the most powerful gaming consoles ever created. It was able to boast cutting-edge technology that was unheard of at the time. Under the hood was a 32-bit RISC CPU manufactured by Hitachi, an enhanced VRAM (random access memory) and MRC (multimedia static RAM) which stored both audio and video. The console was also the first to be able to support 3D gaming, which allowed for a level of immersion that had never been seen before. The console’s graphics and sound capabilities were groundbreaking, and still, hold up incredibly well today. It’s worth noting that none of that power was actually used in the final product; it was underutilized, to say the least.
3: It was never a full console launch in Japan
The Nintendo 64 was a massive success, but it didn’t have the easiest journey to the masses. In fact, the Nintendo 64 was never launched in Japan at all. The console was initially released in the United States on September 29, 1996, and was only available for purchase through brick-and-mortar stores (unlike the NES, which was sold at supermarkets). It wasn’t given a wider release in Japan until March 27, 1997. Nintendo eventually released the console in Japan with a redesigned model, the R128, in 1999. The Japanese launch of the Nintendo 64 was an unmitigated disaster, however. It was plagued by supply issues, quality issues and numerous technical issues. Distributors and retailers were so unhappy with the situation, they filed class-action lawsuits against Nintendo.
4: There were major problems with the 32-bit chip on its release day
One of the main reasons behind the Nintendo 64’s delay in Japan was that a major glitch was found in the 32-bit chip found inside the console. The chip had a bug that caused the console to crash if any game tried to use the full 64MB of VRAM. This meant that most games didn’t use the full amount that was available. Instead, the game would use 16MB with the rest of the memory being left free for other functions. This created a huge problem when it came to the console’s launch date. The VRAM chip was already ready for production and was tested in the final stages of the production process. Unfortunately, it wasn’t tested properly, and when it was released, it caused the console to crash when any game tried to use the full 64MB of VRAM. This was fixed with a software update within a week, but the damage was already done.
5: Zelda: Ocarina of Time marked the first time players could change how a game ended
Back in 1998, Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the most anticipated games of the generation. It was the first time the series had taken a huge leap forward in terms of graphical fidelity and was an overall step forward in terms of gameplay. The game was an instant hit, and almost singlehandedly kept the Nintendo 64 afloat. It was really a landmark title and one of the greatest games of all time. The game’s ending, however, wasn’t always meant to be how it played out. In fact, it had a number of alternate endings. Only one of these remained in the final version and was the one that was used in the game’s Western release.
6: Super Mario 64 remains one of the best video games ever created for a console
Super Mario 64 remains one of the greatest games ever created for a console and is widely considered one of the best games ever made. The game is Mario’s first 3D adventure and was an instant classic. It was an incredibly innovative and fun game that has been played by millions of people across the world. The game’s main innovation was the use of the right analog stick to control Mario. This was a revolutionary move and paved the way for the more advanced control schemes that we have come to expect from modern games today. The game also featured some of the best graphics to be found on the console and remains one of the most beloved games of all time.
7: Super Smash Bros. is another exceptional title for the system
Super Smash Bros. is often regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, and rightly so. This huge, epic crossover featured some of the most iconic characters from Nintendo’s history, and allowed players to battle and engage in combat with all of them. The game’s roster had a mind-blowing number of characters, including just about every playable Mario character, every playable Pokémon and every playable Smash Bros. character. It also featured every single fighter who had ever competed in a Smash Bros. tournament and even had guest appearances from other franchises such as Star Fox and Dr. Mario. The game was an absolute masterpiece and is still among the best-selling games of all time.
8: Final Smackdown: Mario Kart 64 was another very popular game released on N64
Mario Kart 64 is one of the top games on this list and a true classic. It’s the most popular game on this list, and also happens to be one of the most popular games ever created. It was a huge hit and is still played by millions of people every year. The game was an immense success and was even Nintendo’s second-best-selling game on this console. It’s also the second-best-selling game for the entire series, which says a lot about its popularity. The game featured the usual Mario Kart formula, with players racing around tracks in karts and trying to overtake their opponents. It was a great game and was very innovative for its time.
9: The console’s controller was so innovative that it changed the entire industry
The Nintendo 64’s controller was so innovative that it changed the entire industry. Instead of using a joystick or button, the controller used two analog sticks. This was a huge innovation, as it allowed for a much more precise control scheme. It also made it easier to play the game. The controller was an absolute triumph and has inspired other controllers ever since its release. It was also extremely durable and was loved by fans and critics alike. In many ways, it was an even better controller than the original Xbox controller in terms of durability.
10: It was so innovative that it changed the entire industry
The Nintendo 64’s controller was so innovative that it changed the entire industry. Instead of using a joystick or button, the controller used two analog sticks. This was a huge innovation, as it allowed for a much more precise control scheme. It also made it easier to play the game.
While most people believe that the Nintendo 64 was only a colossal failure, it actually had quite a few good games in it. With some of the most innovative games of the era and some of the best graphics to be found on an N64 console, it’s easy to see why the N64 had a lot of potential. It also had a number of launch titles that got a lot of hype and were great in their own right. Unfortunately, Nintendo could never get the console out in time and it was quickly forgotten. It was eventually discontinued in 2001 in favour of the more powerful and bleeding-edge Nintendo GameCube. This lead many to believe that the N64 was a complete flop, but it actually had a lot of good games and some fantastic titles in its library.