Everyone remembers the N64 right? How could you not? The odd shaped controller that didn’t fit your hands right, the clunky boxed shaped graphics, the four super popular games that everyone else had, while you had a single copy of Clayfighter… When you think about the N64 compared to today’s graphics and technology, you might smile remembering the good games. But that’s all it is, a bit of nostalgia. But on this day, 20 years ago, the world of gaming possibilities was endless, because Today in Gaming History was the day that the N64 released.
This close to the end of the year, most kids probably got their first taste of Nintendo’s incredible line up of single player games on Christmas morning. And for them, that’s where it all started. The N64 had a relatively small game library compared to its Sony Playstation competition, having only 388 games compared to PS’s 1,100. But what it lacked in quantity, was definitely made up with quality, with games like Super Mario 64, which sold over 11 million copies. Other well known titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye 64.
While these games were incredibly fun, and remain in peoples hearts to this day, none of us who played that legendary system could have predicted what an impact was being made on the future. The jump to 3 dimensional characters with games like Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 showed gamers and developers both that there was the potential for so much more detail and ideas. Meanwhile FPS games (which we know, PC already had) like Perfect Dark and Turok were giving people a whole new genre of games to enjoy, and quite literally a new perspective on things. Not to mention the idea of 4 player multiplayer madness.
Looking back, Nintendo did some things wrong with the N64, but they did so much more right. There is no way of knowing where gaming tech would be today if it weren’t through the breakthroughs this system gave us. And the memories of gaming with friends, defeating evil and saving Princesses is why we can look back on Today in Gaming History and say thanks Nintendo.