There was a black GC that released somewhere around year 2. Nothing could really be done about coming out a year earlier, but yet again, the hardware was much better than PS2. As far as better planning, not really sure what you mean by that.
It wasn't "much better", it was reasonably better, but not hugely better. By planning I mean they should have prepared for a 2000 launch instead. Giving Sony a full year headstart and a whopping 18 months in Japan was stupid.
Should have launched in November 2000 with Perfect Dark and Zelda: Majora's Mask as launch titles (which would have required planning). Both of those games barely ran on the N64 (Perfect Dark anyway).
They would have sold 50 million or so that gen had they done that.