Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime: Nintendo 64 Classic "not in our planning horizon"
First came the NES Classic. The next year brought the SNES Classic. The next natural step for Nintendo would be to release a miniature replica of the next console in line, the Nintendo 64 (stylized N64), right? According to Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, you shouldn’t hold your breath.
In an interview with Kotaku, Fils-Aime answered questions about future ventures Nintendo may explore. Absent among them is the N64 Classic mini-console. Despite leaks and renders previously seen, Fils-Aime said that an N64 Classic is definitely “not in [Nintendo’s] planning horizon.”
Fils-Aime explained that the first two Classic consoles were merely bridges between console launches. In the interview, he said:
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. That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system.
In other words, the NES Classic and SNES Classic were nothing more than revenue streams to help business move along as the Wii U died out and the Switch took steam. Considering the supply debacle surrounding both the NES and SNES Classic consoles, it’s not hard to see that Nintendo never intended for the consoles to open a new line of business.
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.
It looks like the future of retro Nintendo games lies with Switch Online. Considering how long it’s taken Nintendo to get the handful of NES titles on the service available to the public, N64 games may be a long way off. Hopefully you didn’t get rid of your Wii.