Was Nintendo 64 a success?


Well-Known Member
Feb 18, 2013
Do you feel like the N64 was a success? My first thought is to say of course it was, but when I actually sit back and think about things it's hard to really justify that stance. In some ways it feels as though it was a quick flash in the pan and nothing to actually worry about. In other ways I feel like it was underplayed and that there was a really great system there. I don't know - what are ya'll thoughts on al of this?
I believe it was a success and mainly because of the big titles that were released and how good they actually were compared to their predecessors

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - When we were on the SNES, we had a Link to the Past. That game set the standard in my opinion because of how well put together it was, how beautiful it looked and how good of a game it actually was. N64 gets released and we find out the newest Zelda title is coming out. Of course their is excitement because of how good Link to the Past was, so the expectations for this game are through the roof. It definitely exceeded expectations.

From a massive world, to recurring character we were familiar with all the way up to the 3D aspect we came to expect from the N64. This game to me set the ton for what the N64 could be. It was graphically perfect, they maximized the potential of the N64 and showed us a game that was revolutionary at the time, which is what we had hoped for from the N64.

With that being said, a lot of games were a huge disappointment, but the main titles we were looking for made it all a success. The games that didn't live up to expectations were games that weren't highly talked about, which to me is a sign that the system was a success. Every single game that we wanted to be great ended up being great for the most part and that to me makes the N64 a success. Every system has games that fail miserably, including the newest consoles such as XBox 360 and PS3, but it's the games we care about that make them a huge success, which is the same case for the N64 and every console ever created.
I think that it was. But not in a way that most people would of wanted. The N64 was great for certain games, but not for every game. I think the original Playstation was better than the N64, as a whole. But I think that the N64 pulled off certain games way better than the Playstation could. Mostly the "3d" type games.

Everybody will point to Mario and Zelda as examples of great N64 games. Which they are. But there were more than just those two.

For instance, the N64 Wrestling games were awesome, and way better than what the Playstation offered. WCW vs nWo: World Tour started that trend. Next came WCW/nWo Revenge, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, WWF No Mercy. Those were better than the wrestling games on the PSX. So there's that.

Of course, there were other terrible games, like Superman or Castlevania. Castlevania didn't transfer into a 3D game very well at all on the N64. While the PSX classic, Symphony of the Night, was a masterpiece.

But the N64 had a lot of titles that helped it be able to say that it was, yes, a success...

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Super Smash Bros
Super Mario 64
Goldeneye 007
Mario Kart 64
Star Fox 64
Donky Kong 64
Paper Mario
Perfect Dark
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Mario Party
Star Wars Rogue Squadron
Yoshi's Story
Mario Tennis
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
WWF: No Mercy
WCW/nWo Revenge
Blast Corps
F-Zero X
Jet Force Gemini


Of course, it had some terrible games too..

Superman 64
South Park Rally
Blues Brothers 2000
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Carmageddon 64
War Gods

But every system has great and terrible games. Its just the way that it is. But, overall, I agree that the N64 did enough, and had enough, to be able to clearly say, without a doubt, that it was a successful platform. It may not have been as successful as others, or a success in the way that some people would of wanted it to be. But it was a success, none the less.
I'd like to think otherwise. I think it wasn't a "success" but it wasn't a complete failure either. I say that it wasn't a success because I think that the N64 did not achieve the greatness that was reached by its predecessors - the NES and the SNES. Also, if compared to the past consoles, the N64s game library was very little. And if you would compare the N64 with the PS1, we would all see that the latter has trumped the N64 big time when it comes to sales and the number of games available for the system.

Yes, the console still generated sales for Nintendo. But I bet that this outcome was not what they were expecting.
See, I think that the N64 was a success. And not just in the traditional sense. Did the PS1 'out perform' it, absolutely. But that doesn't mean that the N64 wasn't a success.

The N64 may have had a smaller library, however, it still had lots of beloved games on it. Also, it was the 'first' for several things. It was the first console to produce 'real' 3D worlds (unlike the PS1). It was the first console to implement and popularize the analog stick, which is now an industry standard. It was the first console to implement and popularize the rumble/force feedback feature, which is also now an industry standard.

Also, the highest selling game on the original Playstation was Gran Turismo, selling 10.85 million units. Meanwhile, Super Mario 64 sold 11.62 million. Of course, the original Playstation had more total sales. But the N64 sold more games than the Gamecube did, and the N64 had about half of the library size of the Gamecube. Yep, that's right, the Gamecube had almost twice as many games at the N64, yet, the N64 sold more game units.

Speaking of games, the N64 also had some 'groundbreaking' games as well. Super Mario 64. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Goldeneye 007. To name a few. These games, and the other groundbreaking games, changed the genre that they were in for the better. All because of the N64.

When comparing some N64 titles to it's next released version on the Gamecube. Super Mario 64 outsold Super Mario Sunshine. Mario Kart 64 outsold Mario Kart: Double Dash. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time outsold The Legend of Time: The Wind Waker. In fact, as a whole, the N64 sold more games than the Gamecube did, and the Gamecube had almost twice as many games on it's system. The N64 had a total 387 games released in America. While the Gamecube had 646. Yet, as of June 30, 2013, the N64 has sold over 224.97 million games, while the Gamecube sold over 208.57. And the Gamecube was also, in the end at least, a 'success'. A "small" success (tho not at first), but an overall success none-the-less.

And, if all you care about is money/sales to determine a success or not (even tho that's not the only thing that can determine whats a success or not, tho it is a big thing), then keep this in mind. The N64 may have "lost" to the Playstation, but it did "beat" the Xbox. Seriously. The N64 sold about 9 million more systems than the Xbox. Of course, it also sold more systems than the Dreamcast. In fact, the N64 sold almost as many systems as the Xbox and Dreamcast combined. Yet, people widely regard the first Xbox as being 'successful'. In fact, they don't even question it. And if that's the case, then the N64 shouldn't even be questioned about being a success either. The N64 wasn't even directly competting against the Xbox, as it was a generation older. Some may say, yeah, but the N64 was in direct competition with the Playstation, not the Xbox. Fair enough. However, the Sega Genesis was in direct competition with the Super Nintendo, and yet, both are highly regarded as successes. Nobody questions either of those. Also, the Xbox was in direct competition with the Playstation 2, and the Playstation 2 blew it out of the water. Of course, it blew every other system out of the water too. However, if you are going to argue that the N64 was a failure because the Playstation was a success, then you should argue that the Xbox was a failure because the Playstation 2 was a huge success. Especially when the N64 outperformed the Xbox. But again, nobody question's the validity of the Xbox's success. So, nobody should be questioning the validity of the N64's success. Especially when the Xbox had about 3 times as many games made for it (968 total Xbox games to 387 total N64 games), yet, the N64, overall, did better.

So, in the end, was the N64 a success? Absolutely. Without question. It may not have been a success in the way that some people would of wanted it to be, or, in a way that people remembered it being. However, it was definitely a success regardless.
Well, many game magazines were predicting that the N64 would dominate that generation and become the best selling console. While the PlayStation was released earlier and enjoyed swift sales, game editors thought that it was more of a stopgap system to tide gamers over until the N64 was available.

The N64 had an incredibly successful launch and everyone was satisfied with the system and the launch titles. However, the PS1 was enjoying a steady release schedule of games while N64 titles were fewer and far in between. Titles such as Final Fantasy, Resident Evil 1 & 2 (even though the N64 received a port of RE2) and Metal Gear Solid helped to put the PS1 in the lead.

At the end of the day, the N64 was the second best selling console of the era. So it was a success but not quite what everyone was expecting.
I think it was a success, mostly because of 2 things: The N64 was the console that started my favorite franchise, Smash Bros, and that Super Mario 64 is also one of my favorite games of all time.
It was successful in my eyes, at least. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remains one of my favourite games of all time. I spent countless hours with my friends playing Perfect Dark (and Goldeneye 007 before it). Super Smash Bros. (as my buddy @Y0shiM0n mentioned) was fantastic and kick-started a game series that on paper would have no business competing with Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, but it does, and it works, and it's absolutely awesome.

I have so many good memories with the N64, and regardless of actual sales and market percentage, it'll always be one of my favourite gaming consoles.
I think it was. It didn't do badly and many people consider it to be the best console of the generation. Which was probably the last time anyone could objectively state that about a Nintendo console.
It was definitely a success. It had a lot of competition, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt it's one of my favorite systems. The only game that I didn't really like was Banjo Kazooie. Other than that there were plenty of fun ones.
I didn't play Banjo-Kazooie on the Nintendo 64 but I have played it on Xbox 360/One and I find it to be an awesome game.
The PS1 was a great system, and the N64 I felt kind of gave it a run for the money. So, I feel the N64 was a great system also.
It's easy for me to say it was a success because it was the only gaming console I had at the time. I remember the days of Goldeneye and Mario Kart... the WCW/nWo and WWF games... they had some pretty awesome titles that sound the game well. Plus the N64 was king for a very long time until Playstation started making better titles (Medal Gear Solid).
Well I cannot speak to any specifics or sales numbers or anything, but when look back on any sort of legacy or things of that nature, I would have to say that it was a success. I loved mine, and everyone else I know has a certain soft spot for it. I think between Mario Kart and Goldeneye everybody played it, so I think that matters. I would say yes, a big success, but maybe success is relative for everyone.
Sure it was a success, I enjoyed it, and there was a lot of games that came out for the system. I always played it because I enjoyed it, and I remember being really young and going to friends of friends houses, the all had the system. As far as sales, I don't really know if they did good that way, but I'm sure they did.

I've had lots of N64 systems over time, I wonder if it would ever come back as a different system.
It definitely was a big success for Nintendo, as long as I know, people used to call most consoles by "Nintendo" even when their names were not "Nintendo" whatsoever, I believe that's a clear proof for showing the world that they had a really big success back them, that's my opinion though.
By the way, my grandmother calls every single console by "Nintendo" so you may understand.

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