No N64 Classic This Holiday Season

There will be no N64 Classic Edition this holiday season. In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé dropped the news.

We were clear when we did the first two Classic series that, for us, these were limited time opportunities that were a way for us as a business to bridge from the conclusion of Wii U as a hardware system to the launch of Nintendo Switch. That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system. The Wii U had been fading fast by early 2016 and the Switch didn’t launch until early 2017.

So while consumers may have been anticipating something, we view these as limited time opportunities. We’ve also now been very clear that as the consumer looks forward to engaging with our classic content that is going to happen more and more with the subscription service.

I would not ever rule something out, but what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.

While I would have loved to see an N64 Classic this year I didn’t have high hopes it would be done right. N64 is a much more demanding system to emulate and, as such, Nintendo would have needed to beef up the hardware used to power the mini. This would have driven up costs and ultimately defeated the purpose of these mini consoles in my mind as a low cost nostalgia trip. One only needs to look at the PlayStation classic’s reception at $100, even before the announcement of its lackluster game library, to see what I mean by this claim.

Other obstacles to the N64 Classic would be licensing rights to many of the games players would have wanted included. Seriously who would want an N64 Classic without GoldenEye or Banjo-Kazooie? While Microsoft has been more than willing to work with Nintendo on licensing past Rare games out for the Virtual Console, would that still be the case for IP that wasn’t owned by Nintendo? Hurdles for the GoldenEye license are even worse, since it needs to be approved not only by Microsoft, but whoever happens to own the rights to 007 games.

Combine the above with the fact that N64 emulation is still barely “good enough” I am happy Nintendo has decided to put off an N64 Classic Edition for now. N64 is one of my favorite consoles of all time and has a great history and infamous legacy. Until that can be replicated properly, I am in favor for any delays that might occur. I fully believe that we WILL see an N64 Classic Edition one day. What do you all think about this news and are you hoping Nintendo will announce further news about an N64 Classic down the line?