It’s been long rumoured, and just based on the fact that the Nintendo 64 comes after the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo, that the Nintendo 64 Mini announcement must be imminent. Here’s why we think it can’t be too far away, why it’s a little harder for Nintendo to pull off than the former two consoles and which games we want to see on the console.
WHEN WILL THE NINTENDO 64 MINI BE ANNOUNCED?
The NES Classic Mini was announced on July 14th absolutely out of the blue on Nintendo’s social channels. Nintendo had never spoken about this kind of thing before and at first, it seemed like some kind of cruel April Fools prank. The SNES Classic Mini was announced a little bit earlier on June 26th (presumably to give more time for preorders to take place).
This means that there’s really not a lot of time left for Nintendo to announce the Nintendo 64 Mini if they plan to release it this year. There’s a few reasons why a Nintendo 64 mini is a little bit harder to pull off than both the NES/SNES Classic Mini which we’ll go into a little bit later.
WHEN WILL THE NINTENDO 64 MINI BE RELEASED?
This is a little bit harder to determine. The NES Classic Mini released on November 10th whilst the SNES Classic Mini launched a little bit earlier on September 29th. Looking at Nintendo’s currently holiday lineup, they’ve got Super Mario Party in October, Pokemon Let’s GO in November and Super Smash Bros Ultimate in December.
Taking this into account, I actually think it’d make the most sense to launch The Nintendo 64 Mini in September, but as we get later into July, I think this might be out of the question, so I’d say if it was to launch this year, It’d come in October or November.
WHY MIGHT NINTENDO NOT DO A NINTENDO 64 MINI?
The best thing about the Classic Mini line so far has been the fact that whilst the consoles have been made smaller, the controllers have remained pretty much identical to their original counter parts. This is more difficult with the Nintendo 64 for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s the first controller to have an analogue sticks, which makes packaging a bit harder, and if Nintendo were to keep it the same size (which they’d have to), it’d be a lot bigger than both the NES and SNES controllers. The Nintendo 64 controller is 3 times the height of a NES controller and quite considerably wider and deeper too.
The other major issue is the games, Rare’s games in particular. Rare had always created games for Nintendo consoles, but to think of the Nintendo 64 without immediately thinking about a Rare game would be near impossible.
They were responsible for the below games (and a few others):
Killer Instinct Gold
Diddy Kong Racing
Donkey Kong 64
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
It’s a pretty important list, right? This is the major issue. Outside of Goldeneye, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong Racing, Microsoft literally owns the rest of these IPs now. There’s the chance that Microsoft could allow Nintendo to use them for a Nintendo 64 classic, but would Nintendo want to knowing that they don’t own the IPs?
Unfortunately, things get even more complicated with Goldeneye 007. Not only did Rare develop the game, but the rights around these games and the other 007 video games are very, very murky.
It’s hard to see a Nintendo 64 Mini releasing without Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. The latter two could potentially be left out, but you’d be hard pressed to find a person that wouldn’t immediately think of Goldeneye 007 when thinking about the prospects of buying a Nintendo 64 Mini.
WHICH GAMES WOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE NINTENDO 64 MINI?
Now, it’s not all doom and gloom. Outside the 8-10 Rare games, there were a lot of great games on Nintendo 64. The NES Classic Mini had 30 games whilst the SNES Classic Mini had 21. I’m going to cut it down the middle and say that these are the 25 Nintendo 64 games I’d love to see.