The Nintendo 64 is rightly hailed as one of the greatest consoles of all time.
Introduced in Japan in June 1996 and making it over to these shores the following spring, looking back at it now it feels like it bridged two distinct eras of gaming. It had a foot in the classic era of the NES, while looking ahead to the 3D, more realistic era of the PlayStation years.
Home of GoldenEye, Super Mario 64 and The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, as well as some treasured obscurities, it was, and remains, a thing of beauty, a glorious time-vacuum and magnificent gift to humanity.
And it’s coming back. Possibly.
The sleuths at fan site Japanese Nintendo spotted that the company had applied to register the 64 trademark in Japan, suggesting that something exciting and resurrection-y was up.
Nintendo has been on a bit of a roll with bringing out classic versions of past consoles recently – the NES Classic sold amazingly, with consoles changing hands on eBay for ten times the asking price after it sold out almost everywhere. Then, as soon as the SNES Classic followed it, fans started murmuring, then shouting, for an N64 Classic.
But now, the bad news. It’s unclear at the moment what the status of beloved licenced titles like GoldenEye, Star Wars: Shadow Of The Empire and WWF: No Mercy would be.
Bundling the games in with the console (as with the other Classic reissues) presumably makes it a whole new product anyway, plus licences may well have expired. Licensed titles haven’t been included with the NES or SNES Classics, so time will tell on that.
For now, all we can do is hope, dream and pray to the Nintendo gods in the sky.