The Nintento 64 was the latest 5th generation (Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar) gaming machine to hit the market and at the same time the most technologically advanced. It was launched in the Japanese market in June 1996, to be shipped to the US and Canada, three months later (Sep 1996), where initial orders exceed 350,000 in just three days!
A three-year development product, code named "Reality Project", unlike its 32-bit competition, the N64 was based on a 64-bit RISC-type processor and an additional GPU for rendering 3D graphics. Te effort to compress costs has led to significant concessions in the field of graphics and especially in the memory cache for textures. But the most obvious contradiction of the technologically advanced N64 is none other than the existence of ROM Cartridges. At a time when the CD-ROM has already dominated, cartridges (although they were up to 64 MB in size) are undoubtedly a setback. In addition, they discouraged third-party developers from developing games for the Nintendo gaming console. Fortunately for the company, its own successful franchises were more than capable of balancing the comparatively small list of games. Thus, the Super Mario 64 alone will record 11 million sales, followed by the Mario Kart with 9 million. The N64 was the last Nintendo console to use cartridges. An attempt to make a 64 MB electric disk, the Nintendo 64DD (Disk Drive), was unsuccessful and the device never left the borders of Japan.
Nintendo officially stopped supporting the N64 in 2001, with the arrival of GameCube. The second place in sales, after Sony Playstation, leads to two conclusions. The long distance (Sony's 100 million sales instead of Nintendo's 33) means that Nintendo is losing its leading position in gaming machines for many years. Although the N64 was undoubtedly a success, sales of NES (60 million) will not be repeated by Nintendo - at least until the release of the Wii.