Should Nintendo Continue to Re-Release Old Hardware?

I grew up with the Nintendo 64. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of my readers did too. The N64 is such an icon of the 90’s era that honestly even people who aren’t gamers now still likely remember this little guy with fondness. The Nintendo 64 had iconic entries into a number of series, such as Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Mario Kart. It also piloted what would eventually become big new franchises, such as Paper Mario and Super Smash Bros. Throw in third-party titles like Banjo Kazooie and Goldeneye 007 and you’ve got a really solid lineup of games. And then, just for fun, tack on the truly quirky titles like Mischief Makers, Mystical Ninja, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day to see that this system had a little something to offer for just about everybody.

I have a lot of great memories with that console: Smash Bros. with my sister and cousins, Mario Kart and Mario Party with my mom, the first video game I ever beat by myself (Mystical Ninja, Starring: Goemon) – there’s a lot to love. It’s not that games now are worse. They definitely have improved in many areas, not just graphics. But there’s something about those games from back in the day that really just make me smile. And that makes me wonder…

Would it be worth it for Nintendo to re-release the N64?

Think about it. Old consoles can be a serious pain to find. People tend to charge obscene amounts of money for that sort of thing, as it’s considered something of a collector’s item. And while some particularly iconic games get to enjoy remakes, many others have been left behind and are difficult to find.

NES Classic Edition.jpg
Nintendo is already giving this a shot with their oldest console, the NES Classic Edition. This mini-NES has thirty classic games pre-installed. You plug it in and play, it comes with a controller, and is compatible with the classic controller accessory for the Wii U. The whole setup is $60, which seems expensive until you really sit back and think: where the heck can I get an NES and these thirty games for only that price? Buying everything separately would likely cost way more money than that, and then when you potentially factor in things like shipping…no way. This is a pretty sweet deal and I know people I wouldn’t consider to be “gamers” who are pretty excited for this little guy.

So why not give a similar treatment to the N64? Folks love a bargain, and they really love nostalgia. Look at all the people who haven’t said the word “Pokemon” since it originally came out in the 90’s who are now super into it again thanks to Pokemon GO. I can see a re-release of the Nintendo 64 having that kind of appeal for much the same group of people. And for those of us who have continued to play games that whole time, it’s still a really awesome way to get in touch with our past without having to hunt at yard sales or get overcharged on E-Bay.

Now I turn the conversation to you, adventurers. Would you be interested in a re-release of the N64, either as a mini version with pre-released games like the NES Classic or as a full-on comeback of this console and its library? Or do you think it’s better that the past remains the past? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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