The Legend of 64: Nintendo's Revolution
The Nintendo 64 revolutionized the way video games were played. The original release date was June 23, 1996 in Japan. It would then be released three months later in the United States. Nobody at the time knew of the immense impact the console would have on the gaming world. For the first time in gaming history the analog joystick was introduced as a central component to console based controllers. 360 degree control became a reality and players were now able to navigate the virtual world in ways they could only dream.
The system was priced originally at $199 and still retains much of its value. Today, a brand new console sells for up to $178 online. However, one could easily find a used console for $30 still in working condition. Games on average used to cost around $30 to $50 depending on when it was released and whether or not the game was popular among the gaming community. Games for the system today only cost a fraction of the price if they are used.
However, the biggest feature of the console by far is the games themselves. Countless classics were made especially for the Nintendo 64's unique 3D emulating software. Games like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Star Fox all received the N64 treatment. These timeless classics were considered top games of their time. They were now playable in a 3rd dimensional universe with new and improved features. The following lists many of the top games released for the console:
- Super Mario 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarnia of Time
- Donkey Kong Racing
- Star Fox 64
- Super Smash Bros.
- Paper Mario
- Mario Kart 64
- Pokémon Stadium
The analog stick finally let players take characters in directions beyond forwards, backwards, and side-to-side. For Nintendo, the decision to implement the analog stick was risky. It meant deviating from the traditional D-pad based games which people were already familiar with and comfortable with. At the time of the N64's release the company was already being seen as falling behind in the ranks as far as game developers are concerned. The decision ended up paying off in the long run and it showed the gaming world what the future could expect for 3D gaming.