Modern gaming is beyond anything anyone could have imagined in the 90s. Except, maybe Nintendo. You might be too young to remember Nintendo 64. It was long before modern everyday utilities like home use. Cox internet offers were available. When people had to settle for dial-up internet and basic 2D computer games. However, in 1996 Nintendo released the Nintendo 64 with great success, and it became an immediate icon with its now recognizable 3-pin controller. But even more, the Nintendo 64 was a turning point in the history of video games. Read on to learn more about how the Nintendo 64 continues to influence modern games almost 3 decades later.
Start the switch to 3D technology
Nintendo had already released a few successful consoles before the revolutionary Nintendo 64. The NES, as it is popularly known among retro gamers, was a precursor to the 64. However, it could only support 16-bit 2D games. If you wanted 3D games, you only had a limited number of options to choose from. And you will also need to purchase the manufacturer’s FX chip separately.
But the Nintendo 64 revolutionized everything. The console not only supports 3D games by default, but also offers a new set of classic 3D games. Mario 64 created one of the first models in the open world. With players free to roam and explore the map, and 3D elements that players could interact with, the game world would never be the same again.
More responsive and precise controllers
The Nintendo 64 controller was different from the NES controller in every way. Instead of the classic rectangle with action and motion buttons, the 64 console controller had a very distinctive shape. He had the 3 pins which are now so easily recognizable. But the odd shape tends to overshadow the real distinguishing feature. It had much more responsive buttons than the other controllers. And it also featured an analog stick instead of cursor buttons. Depending on how you interacted with the controls, you can run, sprint, or walk your in-game character. This ability to toggle character speeds and movement styles is now generally standard in most modern games.
The birth of split-screen multiplayer modes
Massively multiplayer online games like Dota 2 are all the rage today. But the multiplayer game has much older origins. The first consoles featured 2 player games. However, this usually involved sharing the same screen in a co-op game like Super Mario Bros. You could play as Mario and your child brother Luigi if you lived in the ’90s. However, the Nintendo 64 had a much more distinctive approach to multiplayer games. The console was the first to introduce split screen modes. It meant you could compete with a sibling or friend, instead of just playing with them. And each player would have their own section of the screen independent of the other players. If you’ve spent a FIFA night with your friends, you owe it to Nintendo 64.
The first open world games
Nintendo wasn’t the first to experiment with open-world games. But it played a pivotal role in making 3D technology the path all future games would aim to follow. The Legend of Zelda is still a favorite among retro gamers today. Imagine how it captivated young audiences with immersive graphics and a gripping gameplay story. Especially when it was one of the very first games in the genre, released to an audience that had mostly played 2D games until then. The game is so popular that Nintendo has re-released it more than once on newer consoles.
To conclude, the Nintendo 64 was revolutionary technology. It transformed the game forever and is the source of some of the most important features we take for granted today. However, the Nintendo 64 never quite found the popularity it deserved. Nintendo itself has released other consoles which have generated much higher sales and popularity ratings. But the importance of the Nintendo 64 can never be underestimated. While it may not have been the best-selling console of all time, it is still the one that makes things like immersive gameplay scenarios and intense graphical detail the norm today.