The 90s Video Games & Tech

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 is a video game console created by the Japanese video game company Nintendo. It was the last of the fifth generation of video game systems to be released, debuting in June 1996 in Japan. Though it suffered from hardware issues, it has become one of the most popular and iconic gaming platforms of all time, and is still in use by some dedicated gamers today.

In the early 1990s, Nintendo was the industry leader in sales due to the massive popularity of its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the 16-bit platform that popularized the Mario series of games and many others. Early in the decade, Nintendo began working on a 64-bit system that would emulate 3D graphics more realistically than any other console. Fans awaited the system’s release with great anticipation, since the N64 (as it came to be colloquialized) was to be the first true 64-bit system. Atari had previously claimed to have developed the first 64-bit system, but parts of the Atari Jaguar were found to operate at only 32 or even 16 bits.

When the N64 went on sale in June of 1996, it was immediately embraced by gamers worldwide. Despite using low-memory ROM cartidges for games that lowered the quality of their graphics, the N64 was hailed by Time Magazine as its “Machine of the Year” for “the fastest, smoothest game action yet attainable by joystick.” Titles like GoldenEye 007 became hugely successful, not to mention Nintendo’s own games for the N64, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which have achieved iconic status in video game history. Some games allowed players to play Game Boy cartidges on their N64, like the Pokemon Stadium series, which used characters from the user’s handheld Pokemon game.

The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in 2002 after Nintendo switched its focus to the new Gamecube system. Though repairs for the system are difficult to arrange, the retail market for the console is strong, and cartridges can be commonly found at online auctions and video game or comic book conventions.



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