Nintendo's got a hot console in the Nintendo Switch, which launched last year. It is, for all intents and purposes, Nintendo's main product.
But one of its classics — the Nintendo 64 — may be getting a miniaturized re-release, and it could arrive just in time to take on Sony's just-announced PlayStation Classic, which comes out on December 3rd. Hilariously, this would be a perfect throwback to the original showdown between the PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 back in the mid-'90s.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. In addition to the Switch, Nintendo makes the 3DS — a handheld console that's winding down after years of popularity. This guy:
And, in addition to the 3DS, Nintendo's produces miniaturized, less expensive versions of its original consoles.
There's the NES Classic Edition, which launched in late 2016. And then there's the Super NES Classic Edition, arrived in September 2017.
Both play into the nostalgia of millions, and became so popular that Nintendo had to revise its production plans — both consoles are now available in wide supply after initially being introduced as limited time releases.
In addition to all those things, Nintendo appears to be making a similarly small, less expensive version of the original Nintendo 64.
Who could forget:
Evan Amos, Wikimedia
That's the original Nintendo 64 you see above, but a European trademark filing from Nintendo indicates that a "Classic Edition" of the original is in the works. That means a miniaturized version of the original system and its gamepad, a sub-$100 price point, and a gaggle of classic games built right into the console.
To be clear, Nintendo hasn't announced such a console, nor has the company previously indicated it's interested in making a "Classic Edition" of the original Nintendo 64. But we do have some clues from the filing that point to just such a console being in the works.
In the filing, a distinctive image is shown:
The trademark image isn't just notable because it's the outline of the Nintendo 64 gamepad — it's notable because it's the same outline of a gamepad that appears on the retail branding of Nintendo's other "Classic Edition" consoles.
That silhouette of the NES Classic Edition gamepad on the top of the box? It's identical to another trademark filing image from Nintendo:
This close-up really highlights how similar the image is:
Nintendo filed the same logo trademark in Europe for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System gamepad silhouette, and that same silhouette appears on top of the Super NES Classic Edition box.
So, is Nintendo making a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition for sure? No, not for sure — but there's certainly some smoke here. And it would make a lot of sense; the generation that grew up with Nintendo 64 is now old enough to look at it nostalgically. For now, though, there's only smoke. It sure would make great competition for this year's PlayStation Classic, though!
Nintendo told us the following when asked for comment last year: "We have nothing to announce on this topic." We've reached out to see if they have anything else to add and will update when we hear back.