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The Nintendo 64 (often called the N64 or just 64) was Nintendo's third major console, succeeding the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was succeeded by the Nintendo GameCube and was discontinued in 2002, less than a year after the release of the Gamecube.

Why It Rocks

  1. The N64, together with the Sony PlayStation, was a major contributor to the shift from 2D to 3D gaming.
  2. Though it doesn't have a huge library of games (only 387 games are in the library), it had many great and memorable games such as:
  3. It introduced the analog stick into popularity, allowing for better movement in 3D gaming than a D-Pad.
  4. At the time, it was the most powerful system released (although discs could hold more data).
  5. The system also allotted four buttons intended for the changing of camera angles, the yellow directional C buttons, making player controlled camera angles a major feature for gaming.
  6. The 4 C buttons, while usually meant for camera control, also act as independent trigger buttons in several games.
  7. It has 4 controller ports right away, unlike its main competitors which only had two.
  8. The Expansion Pak accessory improves the console's performance.
  9. The slot for the Memory Pak in the controller can also be used to attach accessories like the Rumble Pak.
  10. The console and the controllers come in a several different colors, which would eventually make it to later consoles. There are also several special edition versions, like the Pikachu version sold by Toys R Us. This is great for collectors.
  11. Though the use of cartridges obviously had its downsides in terms of storage capacity, it also means that games on the system have little-to-no loading times, and also prevents the reliability issues that early CD-based consoles tended to have.
    • There were some exceptions though, such as Quake 64.

Bad Qualities

  1. It continued to use cartridges instead of discs, which its main competitors were using. Cartridges were more expensive to manufacture and hold less data than discs. This made it harder for third-party developers to port games to the Nintendo 64, as a result those ports were often inferior to their disc counterparts.
  2. Many RPG and Fighting franchises like Final Fantasy and Street Fighter migrated from Nintendo to PlayStation or Sega Saturn and Dreamcast for Fighting games case, leaving the N64 with very few games of those genres.
  3. Many games struggled with camera control. Games generally used the C buttons for camera control which was less reliable than a second analog stick.
  4. The controller only has one analog stick which had major flaws. The C buttons somewhat act like a second analog stick though. You can also replace the analog stick with a GameCube spare analog, which is far better.

Reception

Though not Nintendo's most popular console, and despite losing to the PlayStation by a large margin, it remains one of the most recognized systems in the world with 32.93 million units sold during it's life span and is still popular among gamers and game collectors. It along with the PlayStation are regarded as two of the most influential consoles of all time for their contribution to 3D gaming.

It is also well known for being the last major home console that used cartridges. Handhelds continued to use cartridges and later cards though.