The Nintendo 64 console was released in Japan on June 23, 1996. The console debuted in North America for $ 199.99 in September. Faced with fierce competition from Sony and its PlayStation console, released a year and a half earlier in Japan, the N64 did not perform as well as its predecessor and sold 32.93 million units in the world.
The console debuted in a dark gray chassis, but eventually came out in a wide variety of colors.
As the name suggests, the console used a 64-bit processor, specifically NEC’s VR4300 processor clocked at 93.75 MHz. The N64 was launched with 4MB of Rambus RDRAM, but the console had an expansion slot that would later allow gamers to double the memory with an Expansion Pak. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Donkey Kong 64 required it. For graphics, the console used SGI’s Reality coprocessor clocked at 62.5 MHz. The system was capable of supporting up to 16.8 million colors and resolutions up to 640×480.
With its computing power, the N64 paved the way for modern 3D graphics and redefined polygonal 3D games with titles like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
While the N64 was more powerful than the PlayStation in many ways, it was ultimately held back by its cartridge format, which couldn’t compete with Sony’s 650MB CD-ROM solution. For reference, the largest N64 cartridge was 64MB, and most of them were between 8 and 12MB. Nintendo was concerned that piracy would spread with CD-ROMs. However, the limited cartridge format kept many third-party developers away, including Squaresoft, who wanted to create large-scale games like Final Fantasy VII that required a lot of storage space to host animated videos. Nintendo cartridges were also expensive and time consuming to produce. As a result, the games often sold for $ 70 or more. One advantage of cartridges over CDs, however, was the almost nonexistent load times.
Nintendo also released a new controller with the N64, which featured a unique tri-fold design. The leftmost pin featured a D-pad, while the middle pin featured Nintendo’s first analog stick. The controller also supported haptic feedback via an optional Rumble Pak add-on, which debuted with Star Fox 64 in 1997. The controller launched in gray but eventually comes in a wide variety of colors. The N64 was also one of the first consoles to support four controller ports without the need for a multitap adapter. The system ended up becoming a local multiplayer party machine because of it and produced iconic titles like Super Smash Bros., Mario Party, and GoldenEye: 007, the latter of which proved consoles can produce shooting games. the competent first person – a genre almost exclusive to the PC until then.
Confronted: Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn
Notable games: Super Mario 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye: 007, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Super Smash Bros., Star Fox 64 , Mario Party Series, Wave Race 64, Perfect Dark, Paper Mario