Nintendo 64 (ニンテンドウ64 Nintendō Rokujūyon) often reffered to as N64 (stylized as NINTENDO64 , formerly known as the Nintendo Ultra 64, and codenamed Project Reality), is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit processor, it debuted on June 23, 1996 in Japan, and was later released in North America on September 29, 1996, and in Europe on March 1, 1997. As of March 31, 2006, the Nintendo 64 has sold 32.9 million units worldwide.
On January 21, 1999, the Super Smash Bros series. debuted on this system with the original Super Smash Bros., which was later released in North America that April. While it was only the 5th best-selling game on Nintendo 64, it was the predecessor of Super Smash Bros. Melee which became Nintendo GameCube's best selling title.
This console is where many video game characters made their steps up from 2D to 3D. For example, The Legend of Zelda series was fairly well known at the time with its 2D orientation games on Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy but really gained momentum from the creation of the 3D orientation game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which numerous amounts of people still claim to be the best game of all time, even now, while higher advanced graphics and gameplay are available. Super Mario 64 also started the "Super Mario" platformer series, which the most recent addition to has been the game for Switch, Super Mario Odyssey, which is rated as one of Switch's best games.
Another version of the Nintendo 64, called the iQue Player (神游機) is a video game system made by iQue Ltd., Nintendo's Chinese subsidiary. It is a variation of the Nintendo 64 hardware, specifically designed for the Chinese market. It is able to play several Nintendo 64 games, one of them being Super Smash Bros. among other best-sellers.
Impact to Smash Bros.
Playable Characters originating from the Nintendo 64
|Character||Super Smash Bros.||Super Smash Bros. Melee||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Title|
|Ganondorf*||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
|Sheik||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
|Wolf O'Donnell***||Star Fox 64|
|Young Link||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
*Although Ganondorf debuted in the original Zelda, Ganondorf did not appear until Ocarina of Time.
**Villager debuted in Animal Forest, but his first game released outside of Japan was on the Nintendo GameCube.
***Wolf debuted in the SNES game Star Fox 2, but as the game was shelved until 2017, Star Fox 64 technically precedes it.
Cameos in the Super Smash Bros. series
- A Nintendo 64 can be seen in the trophy room in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with a copy of Super Smash Bros..
- iQue Player website, in Chinese.