The Launch of the Nintendo 64 (1996)


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Episode 46 – Although the history of 3D gaming stretches all the way back to the very early 1980’s, outside of the arcades it didn’t start in earnest until the early 90s. The 3DO Interactive Mulitplayer and Atari Jaguar both launched in 1993, Nintendo used the Super FX chip to create polygonal 3D games like Star Fox and Stunt Race FX on the Super Nintendo, while Sega used the SVP chip to create a home port of arcade hit Virtua Racing on the Genesis. In 1993, Nintendo partnered with Silicon Graphics to develop their next-generation hardware, while in 1995, the release of both the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation signaled the “real” beginning of home 3D gaming. After numerous delays, Nintendo finally joined the next generation of consoles, as the Nintendo 64 was launched in Japan and North America in mid 1996. Although many gamers who grew up playing the Nintendo Entertainment System had, by the mid 90’s, moved on to more “grown-up” systems like the Playstation and Saturn, the Nintendo 64 was a big part of the 90’s childhood, and made Nintendo fanatics out of a whole new generation of gamers.

Show Notes:

– This show took 9 months (on and off) to make.

– All gameplay footage was captured using an RGB-modded Nintendo 64 upscaled through a Framemeister and recorded using an Elgato Game Capture HD.

Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (­ncompetech)


  1. Wait a dang moment. Galaxy is NOT Super Mario 64's true sequel. Super Mario Sunshine has far more in common with 64 than Galaxy does and while Galaxy is a great game Sunshine is even better because of how unique and fun its gameplay mechanics and levels are.

    Sunshine is one of Mario's best games and is better than both 64 and Galaxy. Sunshine has problems they don't have due to being rushed, but its core mechanics and gameplay and level design is better than both of them. Galaxy has the best storyline arguably music of the three, and I don't think many would argue it as being a true 3D Mario game despite its more linear structure, but Sunshine is what Mario's gameplay is at its best.

  2. I love how he says to “check out our other videos” if this is your first time on this channel, instead of just saying “If this is your first time on this channel, please subscribe”. Glad to see some youtube channels that don’t ask for subscriptions so hastily.

  3. I'll go to my grave saying n64 was superior to ps1. I was 8 when it came out & I remember the pressure of choosing one of them. Ultimately it didn't matter bc my ps1 so we had the best of both worlds but the best memories I have of 97-01 is from n64.

  4. I remember reading in next Generation magazine that the N64 hardware was built around Mario 64 & that system specs were changed to meet Mario 64's specific needs?

  5. What's with all the N64 hate here? I love the system. The controller isn't great, and the graphics weren't perfect, but I loved the games. Cant beat Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Pokémon Stadium, DK64, and Majoras Mask. Can't beat that lineup.

  6. Mario 64 is the Father of the 3-D adventure game. Possibly one of the greatest games of all time. If not the top, because it innovated. As a teenager when I saw this console enter my house I was blown away by the sheer jump from the 2D to the three dimensional. It is a work of art to the true gamer and without this we would not be where we are at.

  7. One of the biggest mistake that Nintendo made was giving up on 2D games, of course they should use a lot of 3D. However, not complete change, so many great titles from SNES, with could be improved on N64, as forgotten, leaving millions of orphans fan from SNES.

  8. The Pretendo 32 ended up being a real disappointment. … The Ultra 64 was supposed to be made by "Silicon Graphics" and be more powerful than any console would ever need to be. Instead, we get a Nintendo 64 that couldn't even display as many polygons as the Saturn or Playstation.

  9. Hard Drivin' had a port for the Gameboy Black and White, I remember I got that game when I broke my leg, and it was actually pretty advanced for its time.

    I love Super Mario 64 DS as well, its a great remake of the original and definitely fixes some of the downfalls of the N64 release. If you have a DS, its well worth finding and playing. Especially on the 3DS with the analog control.

  10. I forgot I was watching youtube for a moment. This documentary is on par with Discovery's or BBC's, I'm impressed. Trully amazing video, thanks for uploading!

  11. I still have my 64 in perfect condition, with the expansion pack, 007 golden eye, perfect dark, mario64 and kart, with a few more. Lovin it

  12. i now wish the home game console market moved at a snails pace the 16 bit area was wonderful and i would welcome 15 to 20 years with a better 16 bit console midway we would have better games the 16 bit games where getting better toward the end of the area


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