Thursday, September 29, 2016

20 Years of 64 bit Power

Nintendo 64 Celebrates it's 20th Birthday

      I can remember about 18 years ago when I received my first Nintendo 64 and a copy of Super Mario 64. It was my very first video game console and introduced me to a brand new world beyond my imagination.

      Playing these 3D games on the big TV, running around as Mario collecting stars and coins, it really blew my mind. My first Nintendo 64 was actually a tradition black machine with a white controller but that actually broke mysteriously, I really have no idea what happened but my mum and dad went and replaced it with a beautiful transparent red Nintendo 64, which is actually the same machine pictured above. Yup I've kept this baby all my life and it still runs too, okay so it sometimes runs, I have to fiddle around with it and it can be a bit cranky but it runs nonetheless.

      So running through a brief history of the machine, the Nintendo 64 started production when Nintendo and a California based computer hardware and software manufacturer Silicon Graphics (SGI) joined forces to begin Project Realty. Project Realty was going to bring players out of the current 16bit era, which had already experimented with 3D games such as Star Fox (SNES 1993), and into a brand new 64 bit 3D era. Nintendo announced that the console would use standard cartridges with a memory size of 100 Mbits instead of CDs, which the Playstation was already using at the time, a decision some say was a downfall for Nintendo though I disagree. The project was renamed to the Nintendo Ultra 64 (NUS for short) and then to what we know as the Nintendo 64 and launched in Japan on June 23rd, 1996 and officially in America on September 19th, 1996. Nintendo only launched 2 games alongside the 64 in America, those games being Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64. Though despite only two games releasing on launch the Nintendo 64 sold over $300,000 on its first three days.

      Many awesome games would soon release, games that will be etched in mine, and many other's memories forever. I own quite a few games for the Nintendo 64, such included are Super Mario 64, Pokemon Stadium 1&2, Yoshi's Story, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart 64, and quite a few others. I didn't get to own every great game to come out on the console and some I had to experience on the Virtual Console but I loved every memory I made on this machine. Super Mario 64 was my first Nintendo 64 and probably consumed most of my video game time as a kid (the other amount of time being consumed by Pokemon on my Gameboy.). Running around as Mario in a 3D world, exploring Peach's castle and collecting the starts in all the different paintings was a blast and I will always cherish that game.

      I know a lot of people had some mixed towards the controller and the odd change from the previous SNES controller but the controller always felt natural in my hands, maybe because it was my first console growing up, I didn't have any previous console controller experience.

      Anyway as this blog is getting a bit long now I'm going to end it off here and talk more about the games I own for it, and the experiences I had in future blogs. The Nintendo 64 will always be a great console in my mind and the games for it haven't aged a bit for me, I'm always able to pick up a controller and run through Mario 64 again and again. Nintendo 64 might be 20 years old today but its legacy will live on in the hearts of many gamers, former and present.

See you in the next blog!

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