In Fall 2017, Nintendo released the nostalgia-infused retro-gaming SNES Mini (or Super NES Classic Edition to be official).
It was a shrunken version of their original beloved SNES gaming console from the early 1990s, and it came preloaded with 21 games alongside two classic wired SNES controllers.
Since then, gamers have been asking of Nintendo: where is the Mini Nintendo 64 for retro gaming enthusiasts? Is it in development? Will it bring back those insanely awesome controllers? Can we please play Goldeneye 007 all over again?
There has been no word from Nintendo as to the status or development of the Mini N64 system, and hope amongst retro gamers is fading. It seems less and less likely that it'll ever see the light of day.
But we really want a Mini Nintendo 64! Here are several reasons why the Mini Nintendo 64 is needed, and what it should have.
Nintendo 64 Classics With HD Graphics
Who doesn't want to see classic games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time officially rendered in full HD for the first time? It would be a moment to savor for the millions of adults who were young when that game forever changed their gaming lives.
The SNES Mini featured HD graphics for the 21 games that came pre-loaded, so it'd make sense for the Mini N64 to have that same feature—or even better, classic games in 4K resolution!
One can dream of Goldeneye 007 or Super Mario 64 in such detail as your childhood comes back to you for a few precious hours.
The Nintendo 64 Had Stellar Games
Assuming the Mini Nintendo 64 came with pre-loaded games, which of the many Nintendo 64 hits should that include?
Well, the aforementioned Goldeneye 007, Super Mario 64, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time games would be must-haves.
But we'd also expect hit titles like The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 2, Mario Tennis, among various others that captured the meaning of gaming for an entire generation.
The N64's Three-Pronged Controllers
For today's younger gamers who look back at the infamous three-pronged controllers of the Nintendo 64, one question always comes to mind: "How the heck do you use those things?"
Well, they were pretty easy to use! Grab the middle and right prongs for most games, and switch to the left prong as needed.
Back then, gaming controllers didn't have thumbsticks; the PlayStation 1 only had a d-pad, and neither the Dreamcast nor Xbox existed yet. For this reason alone, the Nintendo 64's controllers were the height of gaming controls.
Bringing that controller back would be a huge nostalgia trip, as well as a lesson in remembering how we used them. Years of Dualshock and Xbox controllers have made an entire generation forget what it was like to use something so ill-fitting yet so brilliant.
Smaller Size for Greater Portability
The original Nintendo 64 wasn't a light piece of kit. It may not have been as big as a modern PlayStation 5, but it was definitely bulky—big enough that it was a hassle to carry over to a buddy's place.
However, the idea of bringing the Nintendo 64 back in miniature form opens up the possibility to take it anywhere you go. This concept worked well with fans of the SNES Mini, so having an N64 that could do the same thing would be fun for a different generation.
Combined with modern connectors (like HDMI), playing a Mini Nintendo 64 could be quite a bit more convenient.
What Features Should the Mini N64 Have?
The box itself will have to include two controllers for multiplayer enjoyment, since that's the primary attraction for consumers.
And 4K compatibility is a must for the era, as more and more people are upgrading to the new graphical resolution. This means all the classic games will have to support the graphics upgrade.
Improving upon retro perfection is hard. However, aside from updates like HD graphics and pre-loaded games, it would be ideal if the Mini 64's games were compatible with the Nintendo Switch system.
Perhaps there could even be an online database of classic N64 games that could be downloaded and played on the Mini Nintendo 64 and/or the Nintendo Switch.
That would mean hundreds of N64 classic games being available for the customer to choose from, rather than the 20 or so most popular (some of which consumers may not care about).
Along with all of the features that consumers want to see come back from the 1990s, there remains the biggest nostalgia grab of all with the Nintendo 64: gaming cartridges.
If you were frustrated with the game, yank out the cartridge. If it was time to switch games, safely pull out the cartridge. The cartridges were cool—nobody knows why.
Now imagine if the Mini Nintendo 64 was compatible with SD cards as game cartridges. You could buy ones pre-loaded with games, or add your own games to your own SD cards to personalize it to your tastes. (A step beyond what's possible with the Switch.)
Also, as a final note, we'd like to see a great UI (user interface) on the Mini Nintendo 64. The classic console didn't have one, but for the times we're living in, a solid UI is essential.
All these combined would result in a Mini N64 that's a clear must-buy for both nostalgia-soaked retro gamers and modern gamers alike!