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The Nintendo 64 (ニンテンドー64, Nintendō Rokujūyon, NINTENDO64), commonly abbreviated as N64, is a cartridge-based video game console and the first true 64-bit system. It was released in June 1996 and is Nintendo's third system released internationally. It is also the final home console to use cartridges until the Nintendo Switch in 2017 (though the Switch uses a different type of carts unlike vintage systems). It is also the first Nintendo system to have four controller ports as opposed to two from the previous NES and Super NES. Part of the 32-bit era alongside the Game Boy Color, it competed against the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, and it is the most technologically advanced home console of its day. One of the most critically acclaimed systems of all time, some of the most popular and best selling games of the N64 include Super Mario 64 (all-time seller), Mario Kart 64, GoldenEye 007, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Star Fox 64, Perfect Dark, F-Zero X, and more. Its library is also known for introducing many spin-off games in the Nintendo franchises such as the Mario Party series, Super Smash Bros., Diddy Kong Racing, and Pokémon Stadium.

It sold 32.92 million units worldwide and was discontinued in 2002.

The Nintendo 64's predecessor is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and it was proceeded by the GameCube.

The Legend of Zelda games[]

Other Games[]

  • Super Smash Bros. (not an official The Legend of Zelda game, but features Link and other elements from the series)

There is one canceled The Legend of Zelda game for the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD peripheral, Ura Zelda, but the game was later reworked into Master Quest for the Nintendo GameCube.

iQue Player[]

Main article: iQue Player
ALttP Book of Mudora Artwork 2
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In an effort to curb piracy in China, a Chinese-exclusive system called the iQue Player was created in 2003. The iQue functioned similarly to the Nintendo 64, but games were distributed digitally. Ocarina of Time was one of 14 games available for the system. Majora's Mask was also developed for the system, but was eventually cancelled for unknown reasons.


  • The slogan of the N64 is "Get "N" or get out!".
  • The Nintendo 64's original retail price in 1996 was $199.99, which is equivalent to $400.26 as of 2024.
  • The launch titles of the N64 are Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64, and a Japan-only game called Saikyō Habu Shōgi.
  • Though the Nintendo 64 had an innovate controller, it is notoriously known for having a fragile analog stick, which would cause movement issues when damaged, commonly when facing forward. A widely known case of this occurring was by players of the original Mario Party game, where it contains mini-games involving rotating it many times (which can cause blisters in hands).
  • According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the reason why the Nintendo 64 has four controller ports is because it is Nintendo's first system powerful enough to handle a 4-player split screen without significant slowdown.
  • The Nintendo 64 was originally going to be called "Ultra Famicom" in Japan, but was changed to be the first Nintendo home console to have a universal name and model design. Its prototype name in 1995 was also called "Ultra 64".
  • Despite its success, the N64 had a relatively small library of games released for the system - 388 in total, due to the difficulty of producing 3D hardware for cartridges (which contain very little memory) in an era where CD technology became prominent and lack of 3rd-party support. For comparison, the earlier NES and Super NES had 1000+ (716 Western) and 1,755, respectively. Its main rival, the PlayStation, received 7,918 games, making it by far the best-selling console of that generation of video games (102.49 million units sold).