Nintendo 64

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Nintendo 64
Type Console
Manufacturer Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Distributor Nintendo Australia
Released March 1, 1997
Launch RRP $399.95
Discontinued 2002
Generation Fifth Generation
Userbase ~850,000
Predecessor Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Successor Nintendo GameCube

The Nintendo 64 is a fifth generation console manufactured by Nintendo Co. Ltd and distributed by Nintendo Australia. It was launched on March 1, 1997. It is the last home console designed by Nintendo to use ROM cartridges. It was the last fifth generation console to be released, and the most technically advanced. It was Nintendo's most successful home console in Australia until the release of the Wii.

The Nintendo 64 in Australia

The Super Nintendo had a slow start in Australia, but once Nintendo Australia took over control of Nintendo products in Australia from Mattel, the console began to rebound after Nintendo employed a more effective marketing campaign, released better value bundle deals, and promoted perceived greater graphical fidelity in games such as Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct and Yoshi's Island.

Nintendo's momentum from the fouth generation was expected to carry it through the fifth generation era. The PlayStation and Sega Saturn were both sluggish performers at launch in Australia due to hardware prices which were out of reach for the more budget conscious Australian consumer, particularly at a time when the market consisted mostly of a 10-24 year old male demographic.

Known Variants

MIA:

  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer Bundle
  • Donkey Kong 64 Bundle
  • Jungle Green Console

Notes

  • Tim Ferguson ads pre-launch - spots up to 90 seconds during shows like the X-Files and the Simpsons. [1]
  • Launched at $399, but dropped to $299 by April 27. Nintendo gave out free games to those who called their customer service line and provided proof of purchase.
  • $199 by Christmas 1997. Expected install base by end 1997 was 300,000. $3 million christmas marketing. N64 was most requested christmas gift[2]
  • Cart prices chopped June 1997, from 80-140 to 60-100. [3]
  • Sales totalled $9.4 million on launch day (23,560 units).[4]
  • Conker. $129.95. 50,000 units. May 25. [5]
  • Userbase 600,000+ when sony hit 1 million. [6]
  • Limited Edition Gold controller bundle released ~April 1998, endorsed by swimmer Michael Klim on the back of his success at the 1998 World Championships.
  • Twin controller pack, second half 1998, one clear purple controller. $199.
  • Pokemaniac Edition, $199, Pokemon themed console and Pikachu, I Choose You VHS tape.
  • Australian Exclusive pack - Star Wars Double Play, included Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Star Wars: Episode I Racer in a specially marked sleeve. Four packs in total, all contained Star Wars: Episode I Racer and another game.
  • Australian Exclusive pack - Perfect Dark Expanded Edition = game + Expansion Pak with outer sleeve.

AU Console Bundles

  • Console w/ Gold controller
  • Console w/ Clear Purple controller
  • Star Wars Episode One Racer
  • Donkey Kong 64 Green console
  • Pokemon Edition N64 w/ VHS Pokemon Vol 1
  • Smoke Grey
  • Ice Blue
  • Jungle Green
  • Fire Orange
  • Something Purple

Launch Titles

  • Wave Race 64
  • Pilotwings 64
  • Super Mario 64

References

  1. Sinclair, L. (1997, March 7). Ferguson pulls Nintendo stunts. B and T.
  2. Hill, J. (1997, December 10). Boom sales in consoles. Herald-Sun
  3. Hellaby, D. (1997, June 30). Nintendo's bear necessities. Daily Telegraph.
  4. Hill, J. & Chester, R. (1997, March 11). Nintendo dazzler faces tough fight. The Courier Mail.
  5. Bryden-Brown, S. (2001, May 16). Nintendo grows up to Conker adult market. The Australian
  6. SONY PLAYSTATION SALES HIT ONE MIL UNITS. (1999, February 16). Telecom Paper.