I have already made the case for why a Nintendo 64 Classic Mini won’t happen, but that’s not to say that I don’t think that there’s a chance that the miniaturised replica console won’t appear at some point. Here are four reasons why it will happen.
1. First-Party Games
It might seem like an obvious thing to say but despite its lacking third party support, the Nintendo 64 had no problem when it came to its first-party output. In terms of single-player experiences, the Nintendo 64 had some of the best including Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Paper Mario, and Sin and Punishment.
Meanwhile, multiplayer titles aren’t an issue either covering a range of genres – Super Smash Bros., Mario Tennis and Golf, Mario Party one through three, Pokemon Puzzle League, Wave Race, 1080 and F-Zero X already stacking up as a very strong line-up. Sure the games we were seeing from the like of Square Enix or Capcom may not have been as important as they were on the previous systems, but you could always count on Nintendo to deliver the goods.
2. Reignite Interest
Setting aside for a moment the sales success of both the NES and SNES Classic Mini, the devices were also excellent for reintroducing older series to the gaming world. On more than one occasion I’d hear friends and family talking about games they’d never had the chance to try before, and I’m not just talking the big names like Mario or Zelda either. Kid Icarus, Excitebike, F-Zero and Donkey Kong Country were all names popping up in conversation, too.
And while I’m not saying this would be a guarantee for a new sequel popping up for the likes of 1080 or Wave Race, it’s still encouraging to hear games like these talked about again. If the Nintendo 64 Classic Mini drums up interest on long-dormant IPs like 1080 or Wave Race and gets them one step closer to a Switch release then bring it on!
3. Demand Is Clearly There
After the success of both the NES and SNES Classic Mini, it is hard to believe there’s not an audience who would be willing to jump at the chance to continue with their collection of mini-consoles and pick up a Nintendo 64 (me for example). If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s just how popular these nostalgic devices are and even with the SNES launching when two other Nintendo consoles were on the market (the 3DS and fresher Switch) it still managed to reach over four million units in sales. A Nintendo 64 at this point seems like a no-brainer.
Black and grey consoles are… fine. They’re smart looking and will often go with any room’s style. Do you know what’s even better though? Colours. The Nintendo 64 was great for offering players plenty of variety in colour both in terms of the console itself and even the controllers. The best of the bunch for me was the range of clear plastic that had a coloured tint to them that launched towards the end of the console’s life.
While I’m not saying Nintendo should release all of them (although that would be pretty fantastic) it would make sense to at least offer a small handful of colours especially when it comes to controls. You’d be surprised just how excited gamers get over a palette swap – the Joy-Con already proving a hit with every new release.