There have been a lot of rumors of a retro N64 coming. It ain’t happening. In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé says that while he “would not ever rule something out… what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”
“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,” says Fils-Aimé. “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.”
Currently subscribers to the Switch’s online service have access to around 30 original and tweaked versions of NES games. No other systems are available. Nintendo isn’t selling downloadable games through its usual Virtual Console platform either.
But Fils-Aimé hints that more content will be on the way. “As we look to the future,” he says, “our subscription service, NSO, Nintendo Switch Online is going to be the place where you can play our classic content.” Adding “We’ll see what comes next” when pressed on whether this will go beyond the NES.
Nintendo’s decision not to follow-up their retro consoles with the N64 makes sense. There could have been a sense of overkill in the market. Ideally, many people clamored about the idea of a modified N64. But, it wasn’t in the cards. It is good to rid the shelves of their NES and SNES retro consoles first.