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A made-to-order N64 Classic is my dream console

by Brandon Russell | October 15, 2017October 15, 2017 9:00 am PDT

I know the idea is looney. Never in a million years would Nintendo allow its fervent fanbase to have a say in what the company does. But I can’t help get swept up by the mere thought of buying a made-to-order N64 Classic. Here’s what I think Nintendo should do (but know will never happen).

When the inevitable release of the N64 Classic hits next year, in addition to offering a stock option with a selection of 25 or so games, Nintendo should offer a special service in which buyers can pay a little more to the number of games that come preloaded on the console. In other words, it would be like ordering a sandwich, or fulfilling the dream of paying for only the TV channels you want.

The consumer—you and me—can pick which meats, veggies, condiments, and other toppings get added. It’s made the way you want it.

Say, for example, Nintendo offers 100 possible titles to choose from. Buyers can purchase every game for the maximum price—that’s with color customization, four controllers, and all 100 games, including titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and so forth.

That bundle would be for the most diehard Nintendo fans.

Say you didn’t want 100 games. Well, you could choose a minimum of 25 from the 100 possible, making it super easy to tailor the exact experience you want. You can choose 25 or 75, it doesn’t matter. It would boost the nostalgia factor by a factor of ten because users would be able to pick and choose the titles they grew up playing.

As we’ve seen from the NES Classic and SNES Classic, the titles on offer have been very limited, with little to no input from consumers. Out of the dozens of amazing games released for the SNES, only 21 are available on the SNES Classic. That’s absurd.

I would customize an N64 Classic in a heartbeat. It’s the console I grew up playing—and one that will no doubt be even more popular than the SNES Classic when it’s (likely) released in 2018. Being able to customize it would make it that much better, and mirror a more traditional console experience in that consumers get to pick and choose what games they want to play.

Nintendo’s current approach is a more “all or nothing” affair.

I recognize the logistics behind such an endeavor would make the enterprise nearly impossible. Creating a made-to-order console at such a large scale sounds daunting just talking about it, and grabbing the licensing would probably be a nightmare.

I mean, Nintendo could probably pull it off, but you know the company won’t, because it’s Nintendo. It can barely provide consumers with enough stock of its nostalgia machines.

The alternative to this crazy idea is to just create an emulator using a Raspberry Pi. By doing that, you can play all the games you love without the restrictions of a set bundle, and you don’t have to worry about stock or inflated pricing when supply becomes limited. But that’s not the point.

I know I’m not the only one who’d love to create their own N64 Classic. Nintendo could make a killing by charging extra for the service, while consumers who grew up with the console could get exactly what they want. It’s a win-win.

I’d be crazy to think this has a chance of happening, but a guy can dream.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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