With the NES Classic hitting stores in 2016, and the SNES Classic following suit in 2017, it likely comes as no surprise that fans were expecting a potential Nintendo 64 Classic (the next home console in Nintendo's historic lineup) to arrive at some point this year. A couple of months ago, an N64 controller trademark had been approved, with similarities between that and previous console releases making a new Mini release seem almost certain, but we still haven't heard a peep from the Big N.
So what's happening here? Well, speaking to Kotaku in New York recently, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has responded to questions about a potential release. Interestingly, he begins his response by talking about how the previous Classic systems were seen as ways to bridge the gap between Wii U and Switch, before reminding everyone of Nintendo Switch Online's retro capabilities.
“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.
“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."
Does this mean that it'll never happen, then, with the Switch now cemented as a successful current-gen machine? When asked whether he'd rule out an N64 Classic entirely, here's what Reggie had to say:
“I would not ever rule something out, but what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”
So there we have it: a Nintendo 64 Classic Mini console could happen one day, but Nintendo (at least in terms of what it's willing to announce at this stage) is not working on it at the moment.
We've probably asked you this dozens of times before, but would you like to see an N64 Mini? Share your pros and cons with us down below.