Nintendo 64

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The Nintendo 64, often known as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market.[citation needed] Named for its 64-bit CPU, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France and December 1997 in Brazil. It is Nintendo's last home console to use ROM Cartridges to store games (Nintendo switched to a MiniDVD-based format for the Nintendo GameCube, then to standard DVD-sized discs for the Wii); handhelds in the Game Boy line, however, continued to use Game Paks. It was discontinued in 2001 in Japan, North America and PAL regions by the launch of Nintendo's GameCube.

The N64 was released with two launch games, Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64, and a third in Japan, Saikyō Habu Shōgi. The N64's suggested retail price was US$199 at its launch and it was later marketed with the slogan "Get N, or get Out!". The N64 sold 32.93 million units worldwide. The console was released in at least eight variants with different colors and sizes. An assortment of limited edition controllers were sold or used as contest prizes during the N64's lifespan.

Of the consoles in the fifth generation, the Nintendo 64 was the last contender and the most technologically advanced. However, the console's storage medium had limitations which harmed the market competitiveness. A significant limitation was the small capacity and high production expense of cartridge-based media instead of the Compact Disc format used by competitors. The limited capacity forced game designers to struggle with fitting game content into a constrained space, though the faster access time of the cartridge medium offered other advantages over Compact Disc media. Another technical drawback was a limited texture cache, which could only hold textures of small dimensions and reduced color depth, which had to be stretched to cover larger in-game surfaces.

In 2009, the N64 was named the 9th greatest video game console by IGN, out of a field of 25.[4]


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