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About Nintendo 64

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The Nintendo 64 (stylized as NINTENDO64 and abbreviated to N64) is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in different countries across the globe from 1996 through 1997 and named Time's Machine of the Year in 1996. The Nintendo 64 launched with three games: Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64, which were both released worldwide, along with Japan-exclusive Saikyo Habu Shogi. As part of the fifth generation of gaming, the system competed primarily with the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. It was the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until Nintendo's seventh console, the Nintendo Switch, released in 2017. Though succeeded by Nintendo's MiniDVD-based GameCube in September 2001, the Nintendo 64 was available for purchase until late 2003. In 2015, IGN named it the ninth greatest video game console of all time.


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Nintendo's decision to use four controller ports on the Nintendo 64 promoted multiplayer gaming and ultimately led to a wave of multiplayer games targeted at elementary and junior high school students. The unique design of Nintendo 64's three-pronged controllers prompted even more intrigue in the console. The Nintendo 64 was also the first to offer controllers with the capability to vibrate, a revolutionary concept at the time. The Nintendo 64 was released in a range of colors and designs over its lifetime. The original Nintendo 64 is a dark gray color called Charcoal, but various colorations and special editions have been released such as Funtastic Atomic Purple, Jungle Green, Fire Orange, Ice Blue, Gold and even Pikachu themes in different colors.

During the system's first three days on the market, retailers sold 350,000 of 500,000 available console units. In the United States, Nintendo successfully outsold Sony and Sega early in 1997 and went on to sell 3.6 million units by the end of its first full year. Business Wire reported that the Nintendo 64 was solely responsible for the 156% increase in overall Nintendo sales by 1997.

The Nintendo 64 remains one of the most celebrated video game systems in history and its game library includes a high number of critically acclaimed and widely sold games that have left a lasting impact on the industry. For example, GoldenEye 007 played a big part in the evolution of the first-person shooter and has been named one of the greatest in the genre. Designed in tandem with the Nintendo 64 controller, Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are also widely considered by critics and consumers alike to be two of the greatest and most influential games of all time.