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Switch Close to Passing Sales of N64 (UPDATE: Now Passed!)

Forums - Sales Discussion - Switch Close to Passing Sales of N64 (UPDATE: Now Passed!)

RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

1. Ocarina and Smash Bros were definitely important games.  It may be too early to tell with the Wii U, but it also has games like Splatoon and Mario Maker.  It's hardware is also important in leading to the Switch.  In these ways it is influential.  It was just not terribly successful.

2. Nintendo's losses were due to the 3DS.  Their first loss came before the Wii U was even released.  


On the other hand Nintendo had a perfect record before the N64 was released.  It got clobbered by Sony.  It's influence is how it influenced Nintendo away from first place for generations to come.

3. Ocarina of Time mostly influenced the Zelda series and little else.  Zelda was actually more influential when it was 2D, because it inspired a lot more direct competitors than Ocarina ever did.  Goldeneye is not nearly as important to FPS as Doom or Call of Duty. 

Mario 64 is more well known for it's negative influence on platformers than anything else.  The 8/16 bit eras are known for having tons of platformers.  All of these games were imitating 2D Mario.  How many 3D platformers are made nowadays?  Not many.  3D platformers are now a niche genre.  2D platformers used to be the primary genre.  That is the legacy of Mario 64.

Really, you left out the best game: Smash Bros.  It's funny what people think are the "influential games".

4. 4 controller ports is a legitamitely great contribution.  I'll give you that.  Because that lead to games like Smash Bros which is still growing in popularity today.

All of the other "contributions" you listed actually helped Sony more than Nintendo.  They solved 3D camera and combat for Playstation games.  They brought FPS to consoles so that it could be done better by Playstation games (and the third party games that are mostly on Playstation/XBox).  They solved a lot of technical problems that helped their competitors more than it helped Nintendo.  If the N64 influenced anything, then it influenced Nintendo's downfall.

On top of that, while N64 may have innovated in very technical ways, it actually had very few great games.  Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros (1&3), The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, and Mario Kart are really some of the greatest and most influential games ever made.  That is the Nintendo from the arcade/8-bit-16-bit eras.  All of the games I just listed are more important than anything the N64 turned out.  And all of the games I listed made Nintendo a crap-ton of money.  They excited fans like the N64 games never could.

That is why I compare the N64 to the Wii U.  It sold better objectively, but Nintendo had a lot of momentum and positive good will going into the N64 era and they squandered it all away.  By the Wii U era, Nintendo had already pissed off lots and lots of people.  Both have a few good games, but neither is really successful as a whole.  But I feel the N64 did a lot more permanent damage.  Nintendo started focusing on games that most people don't want, and it had just kept doing this sort of thing for several generations now.

Your whole post is a crazy defense of the Wii U. You've taken it to a new level.

1. Splatoon and Super Mario Maker aren't influential games. You won't be seeing other companies make games like those.

All the Wii U's hardware showed was how not to do it. Using your logic, the Virtual Boy is one of the most influential consoles of all times. That's not how it works.

2. The Wii U, along with the Virtual Boy, are the only Nintendo consoles that were not profitable over their lifetime. While the 3DS accounted for losses at first, it at least made it all back. On the other hand, the Wii U was sold at a loss from the start and Nintendo could only explain the continued bleeding to investors by pointing to the lack of massproduction as the culprit for the absence of reductions to the manufacturing costs. There's a reason why the Wii U never got a second price cut.

3. You deny Ocarina of Time's importance in your third response of the quote stack, but acknowledge its importance in the fourth response by twisting it into something negative. You are applying massive double standards by saying that Wii U games still have to be given time to prove their influence whereas the influence of Nintendo 64 games was already omnipresent during the generation they released in.

4. If the Nintendo 64 was so bad in your eyes, then how come that you are championing the Wii U in comparison where everything was worse? Nintendo's momentum going into the Wii U era was better than their momentum going into the N64 era. Wii U is Nintendo's worst generation and it came right after Nintendo's most successful generation.

It's not that I think the Wii U is great.  It's that I put the Wii U and N64 in the same category.  Other posters in this thread see the N64 as great and the Wii U as a total flop.  I see them as more or less the same.  Both represent Nintendo in mediocre fail-ish type of mode.  Neither is a blunder like the Virtual Boy.  Neither is really great either. 

When you look at the style of games that Nintendo has made on their home consoles you can basically lump them into 3 categories:

NES/SNES style (i.e. 2D)

N64/Gamecube/Wii U style (i.e. 3D with analogue stick)

Wii style (i.e. 3D with motion controls)


When you look at these types of games, there is only one style where Nintendo's business consistently does poorly: 3D with analogue stick.  The N64 set Nintendo on this path.  These type of games on the N64 are largely what you see on the Gamecube and Wii U as well.  I do see N64 as influential to Nintendo, but the influence was all bad.  It set them on the path to repeated failure.  Sony can consistently be successful making 3D-analogue stick type of consoles.  This has not been a good path for Nintendo and it started with the N64.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:

It's not that I think the Wii U is great.  It's that I put the Wii U and N64 in the same category.  Other posters in this thread see the N64 as great and the Wii U as a total flop.  I see them as more or less the same.  Both represent Nintendo in mediocre fail-ish type of mode.  Neither is a blunder like the Virtual Boy.  Neither is really great either. 

When you look at the style of games that Nintendo has made on their home consoles you can basically lump them into 3 categories:

NES/SNES style (i.e. 2D)

N64/Gamecube/Wii U style (i.e. 3D with analogue stick)

Wii style (i.e. 3D with motion controls)


When you look at these types of games, there is only one style where Nintendo's business consistently does poorly: 3D with analogue stick.  The N64 set Nintendo on this path.  These type of games on the N64 are largely what you see on the Gamecube and Wii U as well.  I do see N64 as influential to Nintendo, but the influence was all bad.  It set them on the path to repeated failure.  Sony can consistently be successful making 3D-analogue stick type of consoles.  This has not been a good path for Nintendo and it started with the N64.

The thing about the Nintendo 64 is that there was no sales data that indicated that it will be a bad direction. On the other hand, the Wii U had more than enough sales data available to never greenlight the console in the first place.

It's also wrong to blame the Nintendo 64 for a path of repeated failure when each new generation is free to have its own decisions. What you convey is that the N64 should be considered a mitigating factor for the Wii U blunder, but it's actually the opposite. Because of the N64 and GC, Nintendo could have predicted that Wii U will fail. But they made the Wii U anyway.

Sony has not been consistently successful. Once again, you only put on the business hat when it suits your argument, but completely dismiss the financial side when it's not convenient.



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MasonADC said:
Signalstar said:
The N64 did not sell well because most people were only born with two hands.

I’ve never held a N64 controller, is it really that bad?

Do you need 4 thumbs on modern controllers so you can use both analogue sticks as well as the dpad and face buttons, if you know know the obvious answer to this then you know that it's a joke to suggest that you needed 3 hands to use the N64 pad.



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N64 was all about quality over quantity. It has around 15-20 absolutely unmissiable games plus a ton of decent game. Unfortunately for nintendo, ps1 also had a ton of unmissable games AND a tonne of decent games. Plus a load of shite lol.



We can absolutely blame the N64 for breaking Nintendo's strong advantage - and in many ways, handing it off to Sony. That was the generation they lost all of their exclusive third parties and most of their second parties. Nintendo became incredibly arrogant with their "Dream Team" and going cartridges against the wishes of their development community. While Wii U was a colossal failure, no permanent damage to Nintendo's foundation occurred the way it did from the N64.

I would call the N64 Nintendo's biggest and most damaging blunder. Yamauchi did so much damage to the company in his final years.

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RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

It's not that I think the Wii U is great.  It's that I put the Wii U and N64 in the same category.  Other posters in this thread see the N64 as great and the Wii U as a total flop.  I see them as more or less the same.  Both represent Nintendo in mediocre fail-ish type of mode.  Neither is a blunder like the Virtual Boy.  Neither is really great either. 

When you look at the style of games that Nintendo has made on their home consoles you can basically lump them into 3 categories:

NES/SNES style (i.e. 2D)

N64/Gamecube/Wii U style (i.e. 3D with analogue stick)

Wii style (i.e. 3D with motion controls)


When you look at these types of games, there is only one style where Nintendo's business consistently does poorly: 3D with analogue stick.  The N64 set Nintendo on this path.  These type of games on the N64 are largely what you see on the Gamecube and Wii U as well.  I do see N64 as influential to Nintendo, but the influence was all bad.  It set them on the path to repeated failure.  Sony can consistently be successful making 3D-analogue stick type of consoles.  This has not been a good path for Nintendo and it started with the N64.

The thing about the Nintendo 64 is that there was no sales data that indicated that it will be a bad direction. On the other hand, the Wii U had more than enough sales data available to never greenlight the console in the first place.

It's also wrong to blame the Nintendo 64 for a path of repeated failure when each new generation is free to have its own decisions. What you convey is that the N64 should be considered a mitigating factor for the Wii U blunder, but it's actually the opposite. Because of the N64 and GC, Nintendo could have predicted that Wii U will fail. But they made the Wii U anyway.

Sony has not been consistently successful. Once again, you only put on the business hat when it suits your argument, but completely dismiss the financial side when it's not convenient.

You're right.  With the N64 they didn't know better, and with the Wii U they should have known better.  And yet the lesson they should have learned with the Wii U was "Don't be like the N64."



The_Liquid_Laser said:

4 controller ports is a legitamitely great contribution.  I'll give you that.  Because that lead to games like Smash Bros which is still growing in popularity today.


All of the other "contributions" you listed actually helped Sony more than Nintendo.  They solved 3D camera and combat for Playstation games.  They brought FPS to consoles so that it could be done better by Playstation games (and the third party games that are mostly on Playstation/XBox).  They solved a lot of technical problems that helped their competitors more than it helped Nintendo.  If the N64 influenced anything, then it influenced Nintendo's downfall.

On top of that, while N64 may have innovated in very technical ways, it actually had very few great games.  Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros (1&3), The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, and Mario Kart are really some of the greatest and most influential games ever made.  That is the Nintendo from the arcade/8-bit-16-bit eras.  All of the games I just listed are more important than anything the N64 turned out.  And all of the games I listed made Nintendo a crap-ton of money.  They excited fans like the N64 games never could.

That is why I compare the N64 to the Wii U.  It sold better objectively, but Nintendo had a lot of momentum and positive good will going into the N64 era and they squandered it all away.  By the Wii U era, Nintendo had already pissed off lots and lots of people.  Both have a few good games, but neither is really successful as a whole.  But I feel the N64 did a lot more permanent damage.  Nintendo started focusing on games that most people don't want, and it had just kept doing this sort of thing for several generations now.

The difference is that, at least in North America, the N64 succeeded in achieving massive mainstream appeal.  If you were a kid in 1997 and you had an N64 in your house, every kid on the block wanted to come over.  If you were a kid in 2013 with a Wii U, most of your friends would roll their eyes and go back to their smartphone.  

Games like Goldeneye, Star Fox, Smash Bros, Mario 64, Ocarina of Time created massive popularity and hype and made the N64 a household name for at least the first half of its life.  Even though the Wii U had some great games, Mario Kart 8 was probably its biggest title from a popularity standpoint and it faded from memory after a month or two.  

What really kills the Wii U though is how its legacy got cannibalized by the Switch.  Nobody is going to remember that Splatoon or Mario Maker were Wii U games because most people will have played these games for the first time on the Switch.  Very few people 10 years from now will think back to their childhood and remember the Wii U fondly like people today remember those sleepovers in the 90's playing Goldeneye with their friends.  I would argue that the Wii U isn't even as impactful as the Dreamcast was despite selling more units just because so many of the special experiences that the Wii U had have been completely recreated and enhanced on the Switch.  The Wii U's legacy was destroyed in order to make the Switch a success.



Soundwave said:

N64 is an example of a console that should have sold 70-100 million units and was totally shot in the foot by really dumb hardware decisions. If they had compromised and included a CD drive, they would have beat Sony that generation because 3rd party devs like Squaresoft, Enix, Capcom, EA, would have no reason to bail out.

The fact that it sold as well as it did with such a low number of software titles released is impressive. 

Seriously. I am a massive Nintendo fanboy, I was too young at the time to actually be buying consoles, but I would have skipped N64 for PSX. Unless you love 3D platformers, the N64 had shit all games, it's easily the worst Nintendo console, even the Wii U (which I practically skipped) is better imo.



By now Switch should already be past the N64 in sell-through numbers.

And only two more weeks until we get the next official shipped numbers.



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Good. IMO the N64 is arguably one of the worst systems ever made by Nintendo, right there with the WiiU and Virtual Boy.
The Switch is just so much better than that thing ever was in 2 years, its just not in the same league. Hell, the Gamecube blew it out of the water within the first year.