N64/Nintendo 64 Console Description.
Nintendo 64 (abbreviated as N64) is a home video game console developed by Nintendo. The successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, it was released on June 23, 1996, in Japan, on September 29, 1996, in North America, and March 1, 1997, in Europe and Australia. It was the last major home console to use cartridges as its primary storage format until the Nintendo Switch in 2017. As a fifth-generation console, it competed primarily with the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn.
Development began in 1993 in partnership with Silicon Graphics, using the codename Project Reality, then a test model and arcade platform called Ultra 64. The final design was named after its 64-bit CPU, which aided in the console's 3D capabilities. Its design was mostly complete by mid-1995 and launch was delayed until 1996 for the completion of the launch games Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64, and Saikyo Habu Shogi (exclusive to Japan). The charcoal-gray console was followed by a series of color variants. Some games require the Expansion Pak accessory to increase system RAM from 4MB to 8MB, for improved graphics and functionality. The console mainly supports saved game storage either onboard cartridges or on the Controller Pak accessory. The 64DD peripheral drive hosts both exclusive games and expansion content for cartridges, with many further accessories plus the defunct Internet service Randnet, but it was a commercial failure and was only released in Japan.
Time named it Machine of the Year in 1996, and in 2015 IGN named it the ninth-greatest video game console of all time. The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in 2002 following the 2001 launch of its successor, the GameCube. The Nintendo 64 was critically acclaimed and remains one of the most recognized video game consoles.