Holding out hope that Nintendo would continue its recent trend of yearly “classic” consoles and bring back the Nintendo 64? You can let that feeling go.
In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime seemed to put those hopes and dreams to rest, at least for now.
The comment came when Fils-Aime was asked if Nintendo would follow its recent success of re-releasing “Classic” versions of its older system, such as the hit NES Classic in 2016 and the SNES Classic last year with an N64 Classic. Fils-Aime said he viewed the Classic systems as “limited time” products meant to bridge the gap between the company’s most recent systems, the Wii U and today’s Switch.
“We were clear when we did the first two Classic series that, for us, these were limited time opportunities that were a way for us as a business to bridge from the conclusion of Wii U as a hardware system to the launch of Nintendo Switch,” Fils-Aime told the gaming site. “That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system.”
“So while consumers may have been anticipating something, we view these as limited time opportunities.”
Fils-Aime went on to say that while he would never “rule something out,” and that the company plans to add classic games to its Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, releasing an N64 Classic “is certainly … not in our planning horizon.”
And that’s a shame.
First released in 1996, Nintendo sold nearly 33 million N64 consoles during its roughly six-year run, helping introduce the world to more complex, three-dimensional games as opposed to the pixelated graphics of the earlier NES and SNES.
While not as popular as Sony’s rival PlayStation, the N64 most definitely left its mark on gamers with classics such as “Super Mario 64”, the original “Super Smash Bros.”, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” and the James Bond shooter “GoldenEye 007.”