The Nintendo 64 (ニンテンドウ64 Nintendō Rokujūyon), often abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market and is a part of the fifth generation console era. Named for its 64-bit CPU, it is Nintendo's last home console to use Game Paks to store games as its primary storage format until the Nintendo Switch in 2017; handhelds however continued to use Game Paks.
|Retail availability||JP June 23, 1996|
NA September 30, 1996
EU/AUS March 1, 1997
|Discontinued||April 30, 2002|
|Units sold||32.9 million|
|CPU||93.75MHz NEC VR4300|
|Controller input||Nintendo 64 controllers|
|Online services||RANDnetDD (Japan only)|
Sharkwire Online (third-party)
|Best-selling game||Super Mario 64, 11.62 million|
Mario Kart 64, 9 million
|Predecessor||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
Of the consoles in the fifth generation, the Nintendo 64 was the final contender to be released and the most technologically advanced. Its 3D capabilities were considerably superior to its rivals, and the flexibility of the unit allowed it to compete graphically even with early Dreamcast and Playstation 2 games. However, while the N64 did choose correctly on most technical decisions, it had a number of drawbacks. One of its technical issues was a limited texture cache, which could only hold textures of small dimensions and reduced color depth, which had to be stretched to cover larger in-game surfaces. More significantly, Nintendo was concerned about the extremely long load times of CD media of the time, and opted to continue to use ROM cartridges for the N64. Although N64 game paks have considerably faster load times, N64 games were constrained by small capacity (particularly in an era when games became more complex and their contents took up more memory) and high production expenses, compared to the Compact Disc formats used by its chief competitors, the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. The system also proved challenging to develop for. As a result of these issues, and wooing by Nintendo's rivals, many third-party publishers that previously supported Nintendo's past consoles would reduce or stop publishing games on Nintendo platforms; a legacy that continued into the GameCube.
Despite its failings, the N64 introduced many of the conventions that are present in modern 3D gaming. It popularized the idea of using analog sticks for control in 3D games. It also created the separate camera controls concept with its C buttons, which would be later expanded into the dual analog system used by all traditional gaming controllers today. The N64 also introduced haptic feedback (rumble) to consoles, which has become a standard feature in all game systems since. Furthermore, N64 games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time have reshaped entire genres, leaving lasting impressions on all of gaming.
The N64 sold 32.93 million units worldwide. It was discontinued in 2002 in Japan, North America and PAL regions by the launch of the Nintendo GameCube.
There are no known global problems with Nintendo 64 titles on Dolphin.
Virtual Console Compatibility List (Nintendo 64)
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|Region indicator||Region description|
|CA||Canada (NTSC /w French translation)|
|EU||Europe, PAL/SECAM territories|
|JP||Japan and Asia (NTSC-J)|
|NA||North America and NTSC territories|