It feels just like yesterday for us. But in reality the N64 launched over 20 years ago.
To jog your memory of how long ago it actually was, I’ve compiled a list of N64 release date, price and launch game information.
Japanese N64 release date and price
The N64 launched on 23 June 1996 in Japan. The suggested retail price was ¥25,000 excluding tax.
Being Nintendo’s homeland, Japan was the first region to receive the N64.
Japanese N64 launch games
Three games launched alongside the N64 in Japan:
Saikyō Habu Shōgi released exclusively in Japan. It is a video game version of Shogi, otherwise known as Japanese Chess.
North American N64 release date and price
The N64 officially released in the United States and Canada on 29 September 1996. However, some retailers broke the release date and started selling it from 26 September.
The console, which came with one controller, went on sale at $199.95. Nintendo originally intended to sell it at $249.95, but dropped the price to compete with the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn.
North American N64 launch games
Only two games were available to buy for the N64’s North American launch:
- Super Mario 64
- Pilotwings 64.
Launch day adopters had to wait over a month until new games released. These were Mortal Kombat Trilogy (31 October 1996) and Wave Race 64 (1 November 1996).
European and Australian (PAL) N64 release dates and prices
Europe and Australia had to wait until 1 March 1997 for the N64. The console was released with just one controller, and games were sold separately.
Launch price by PAL country
- United Kingdom: £249.99
- Germany: 399 Deutsche Mark
- France: 990 French francs
- Spain: 34,900 Spanish pesetas
- Finland: 1,695 Finnish markka
- Australia: $399.95 AUD
Nintendo France’s N64 launch delay
France didn’t officially receive the N64 until 1 September 1997.
According to Mathieu Manent’s Nintendo 64 Anthology, the delay was due to an undisclosed legal issue with Nintendo France. For a while, Nintendo considered closing its French subsidiary, which in turn delayed the N64’s release in the country.
However, French retailers didn’t let this blip get in the way of making money. They imported N64 hardware and software from other European countries, and sold them at a hefty markup.
European and Australian (PAL) N64 launch games
Despite the N64 launching much later in Europe and Australia, it only received three launch games in total. These were:
- Super Mario 64
- Pilotwings 64
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Due to how close these dates were, it wouldn’t surprise me if some retailers started selling Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on the N64’s launch day. I can’t be sure, but I’ve received a few anecdotes supporting this on Twitter.