For years, we’ve seen rumors about Nintendo making a “classic” version of its Nintendo 64 console, along the same lines of what it did with its best-selling NES and SNES models. So why hasn’t it released it yet?
More than likely, it’s probably waiting for all the cards to fall into place. But there are many factors to consider that could very well point to an announcement and, fingers crossed, release sometime this year.
Let’s take a close look at all the signs pointing to that very likely release.
Goldeneye 007 Finally?
One big reason why the N64 Classic probably hasn’t materialized yet is because it would be missing one key classic that fans absolutely want there – Goldeneye 007. The 1997 game continues to be a long-time favorite after all this time, but re-releasing it would be something along the lines of a nightmare, due to its many rights.
However, recently, signs were indicating that Microsoft was working on a re-release of some kind, to coincide with the anniversary of the James Bond franchise. The thing is, in order for that to happen, Nintendo has to be involved as well, since it was their initial code.
So the way it could play out is like this – Microsoft would be able to release the game digitally on their end, with enhancements and online play; while Nintendo would be able to include the classic game as part of its Nintendo 64 packaging, allowing players to enjoy the original multiplayer as intended – four-player split-screen.
It’s a win for all involved, and between Microsoft and Nintendo, it’s likely they could combine their efforts to overcome the licensing hurdles and give us the damn multiplayer game that we want – and deserve.
Testing the Waters On Nintendo Switch?
Next up is the idea that Nintendo 64 popularity is being gauged in a very interesting manner – using the Expansion Pack as part of Nintendo Switch Online. The company introduced the controversial – but still very well received – add-on some time ago, and it’s since seen some iconic favorites that have been played constantly. These include Mario Kart 64, Paper Mario, F-Zero X, StarFox 64 and many others.
To think that they’ll remain on the Switch service is obvious, and Nintendo can keep releasing titles to gauge interest. But what if all this is an experiment to see how well received the N64 games are in general, and, in turn, the company’s testing the waters for what classics to include in its all-in-one system when it arrives? That’s a very likely science – and a good reason for the Expansion Pak to exist.
That’s just a wild guess, but worth giving some thought to.
Star Wars Surprises?
Next month is Star Wars Celebration, marking the return of the iconic show to the Anaheim Convention Center. It should be a big one as far as games go, with the potential reveal of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order IIfrom EA and a possible first look at new gameplay from Aspyr’s remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
But what else could we see? A nice licensing deal with Nintendo. Aspyr did just release The Force Unleashed for Switch this week; and other classics have done well for the platform too. So what’s stopping Lucasfilm Games from striking a deal with the big N to include favorites from yesteryear on the N64 Classic?
Games like Episode 1 Racer and Rogue Squadron would be big hits, but this is also an opportunity to give the sleeper hit Shadows of the Empire another chance to thrive. After all, this was one of the better-selling games at launch, and despite some of its problems, it’s still considered a favorite by many. So, yeah, giving these games a second life – and during a key period in the Star Wars lexicon – would do the trick.
It wouldn’t surprise us if they got a digital release on Nintendo Switch Online first, before Nintendo eventually announced their debut on the N64 Classic as well. Gotta cover all those bases and give fans what they want. Hell, we’d even take Battle For Naboo if they threw it in!
What do you think will be included on the N64 Classic when it eventually arrives? Sound off!