4 Reasons Why A N64 Classic Mini Won’t Happen

GoldenEye 007 Cover Artwork

It’s the question on a lot of gamers’ minds for 2018 – will the Nintendo 64 be next to get the miniature treatment? You’d think based on the last two years that year three would keep the pattern going but do we really need a Nintendo 64 Classic? Here are four reasons why we might not.

1. Lack of Notable Third Party Titles

While the NES and SNES both offered a wealthy line-up of third-party titles that helped define the systems, the Nintendo 64 wasn’t so fortunate. In fact, when you reflect on the console’s third-party line-up there’s little that truly stands out. Of course, there is the odd exception like Resident Evil 2 or Rayman 2 that at least at the time stood out as some of the better third parties experiences out there.

However, beyond that, any other games players would likely want are either tied up in a mess of licensing deals (GoldenEye 007, WWE or Beetle Adventure Racing) or simply too obscure a choice. The NES Classic had Mega Man 2 and the SNES Classic had Super Street Fighter II so to then say the Nintendo 64 Classic might have Doom 64; it’s hardly a like for like comparison in terms of quality and what the console was remembered for.

2. Sizing

This is a rather small niggle that might be more of a personal thing to me than anything else but I found one of the neat things about the NES and SNES Classic was that they were both very compact. The console itself was obviously shrunk down but the controls didn’t need to be in order to remain smaller than the device itself. With a Nintendo 64 though, the controls were fairly sizable to begin with and you have to imagine after shrinking the console, the controls will actually be bigger in comparison. Of course, this isn’t a cause for concern, but rather something to makes the whole “Classic Mini” name feel a little less special, especially when you have four controllers with you to carry around also. Which brings me onto…

3. Double the Controls

A really smart move for the SNES Classic was bundling two controls in the package so right out the box gamers could play some two-player Super Mario Kart or Kirby Super Star. When it comes to the Nintendo 64 the player count doubled to four – everyone remembers his or her time with Mario Kart 64 or Mario Tennis for the long, late night sessions with friends. The fact of the matter is a lot of the best Nintendo 64 titles were multiplayer focused. So the question is how does Nintendo approach this?

Really there are two options. The first is packaging the system with four controllers while the second is doing what the NES Classic did and sell them separately. Both options will likely be pricey whichever way Nintendo might decide to go, and after the rise in the cost of the SNES over the NES you have to wonder how much higher gamers would be happy to pay in order to get the full experience. I have to imagine that if you did want the full four-player experience it’s going to cost you a lot more than the NES or SNES did.

4. Standing the Test of Time

The SNES worked so well as a throwback console last year and a large reason for that was most of the games included had aged surprisingly well. Super Mario World for example still plays and looks far better than the “New” series ever has while Super Metroid still ranks top of the “Metroidvania” class.

The Nintendo 64, on the other hand, might struggle as it goes toe to toe with its greatest nemesis – time. Much like the PlayStation, these first ventures into the world of 3D graphics can be tough to return to, their visuals blocky and blurry controls clunky and sound quality lacking.

That’s not to say there aren’t any Nintendo 64 games that have stood the test of time, rather that there are much fewer than you might expect.

Comments 13
  1. 1. Doesn’t matter, GoldenEye and some first-party titles alone will do it
    2. Doesn’t matter, this is totally doable
    3. Doesn’t matter, this is totally doable
    4. Doesn’t matter, this is totally doable

    1. Totally agree. It’s very doable and is the next logical step in the classic mini console. These are for the fans anyway and the n64 in my opinion is one of the top 5 consoles all time.

  2. I completely disagree with this article. The N64 is one of the best consoles of all time, BECAUSE of its game library. Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Zelda: OOT and Majora’s Mask, practically all of Rare’s titles… I have played some pretty recently, and IMHO they stand the test of time because they are dripping with quality. Aside from the PC, I don’t think I can name another platform with as many games that would make my list. Add to that the gorgeous design of the console itself, and it’s a no-brainer.

  3. I want the N64 classic more than I’ve wanted anything in a long time. But I would want them to do it right and sell it for more $ than for them to do it wrong for less $. Right would be to essentially put better hardware under the hood to ensure the games run at 60 FPS @ 1080p, instead of the sluggishness that some/most N64 games had at the time, especially when choosing “High res” with the 4mb memory expansion. Another would be to make the games widescreen “HD remake” versions where available. Meaning for example, we already have HD remakes out there on current gen consoles for Banjo 1/2, Donkey Kong 64, Conker’s Bad Fur day(original Xbox), Perfect Dark(X360), Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask(3DS remakes) and so on the list goes. I don’t want to play the games as they were then, I want them as they were meant to be and can be now, anti-aliased and running smooth. It would be too jarring to try to play them in 4:3 ratio at 15-20 FPS nowadays given what we’re used to when it comes to 3D gaming. Also the controllers should have the rumble function built in, instead of the gaping whole in them for those silly rumble packs, etc. If they did all this, I’d gladly pay $150-$200 for this console and seeing as how Nintendo only wants to make a couple million units of these classic consoles, I’m sure they wouldn’t have trouble finding a couple million buyers even at that price.

  4. it FABULOUSLY WILL happen… and it WILL be the biggest one they’ve one up to the point, most expensive, biggest demand, etc… n64 to this day isstill tough to emulate.

    just don’t expect for it to happen this year… or even in 2019. It’ll take awhile to get this one right.

    1. I disagree, it could happen this year. Remember Nintendo has the original OS code. So they wouldn’t be emulated based on guessing like what we have now.

    2. You clearly don’t know what your talking about. N64 is not hard to emulate. I have a 8 year old laptop. Runs it fine. You only need 1 cpu core for N64 and a igpu works jist fine. Id say 2019 is when they will release it. Now GC and beyond will be hard and may never happen.

  5. Who the hell says “controls” instead of “controller”? Literally never heard a single person do that before in my life.

  6. A classic n64 will be awful. The nes and snes game style is not competing with what is available today. Indeed there has been a revival of retro styled 2d games so it was a perfect fit. No one wants to play 3d fps games that look and play like a late 90’s n64 game. Just because it’s goldeneye or perfect dark won’t change that the games really don’t hold up at all compared to today. I love the n64 and still own mine but if there’s multiplayer to be had it’s mario kart or mario party not goldeneye, it’s just not enjoyable sadly.

    Personally I love the snes because there’s some amazing RPGs and the colourful graphics are a perfect fit so you can enjoy the story and not care that it’s 25 years old. The n64 on the other hand is a product of its time. Being the first generation of true 3d machines the games focused much more on wow factor with looks than a great story. As a result the games now have aged and you just wouldn’t want to waste time playing them. The classic snes rpgs on the other hand are still amazing and any true RPG fan will go back to these timeless games at some point.

  7. The N64 mini could happen for the sole reason that it would create a trilogy and everybody who bought the NES AND the SNES minis would buy the N64 mini just to complete the collection. There was already a chinese N64 with the games built into the controller, so it’s not a question of the hardware. I believe Nintendo could release a N64 mini for a $100 with two controllers and approx 20 games. Actually Nintendo would be foolish not to release an N64 mini just from the perspective of a collector.

  8. Have you guys ever used an n64 emulator? TIll this date there has never been an emulator that can fully emulate every game on the n64. We have these powerful graphics cards , video cards, and computer memory but we can’t emulate an n64… cuz it just sucks.
    Gauntlet Legends, Mario Tennis, just to name a few, cannot be emulated properly. What chance does an n64 mini have? Zero.
    N64 mini is doomed, don’t bother, it will NEVER happen.

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