N64 Classic Mini release date rumours and news: Nintendo trademark adds to the hype
A further trademark filing suggests that Nintendo could be readying an N64 Classic Mini console.
Originally spotted by Japanese Nintendo, the trademark covers a video-game program, a controller for a game machine, a joystick for a video game machine, and a TV game machine.
It’s possible that Nintendo is simply filing this application to safeguard its control over the company’s intellectual property. Seen in the light of previous N64 trademark filings with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, however, it’s a tantalising hint that Nintendo is working on an N64 follow-up to the SNES Classic Mini and NES Classic Mini.
There’s now already chatter around a Nintendo GameCube Classic Mini coming in 2019 as well, thanks to similar trademark filings.
N64 Classic Mini: Everything we know so far
Rumours around the new mini console began swirling online in 2017, when Nintendo applied for a trademark on the iconic three-pronged N64 pad with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. NeoGAF members noticed that the trademark was listed under “goods and services”, suggesting it relates to a physical product. This points heavily to a Nintendo Classic Mini version of the N64, since Nintendo made similar filings ahead of the NES and SNES Minis.
The trademark filing shows a clear picture of the N64 controller, meaning there’s zero ambiguity around what Nintendo plans to trademark. As the N64 isn’t actually all that tricky to get hold of, here’s hoping Nintendo will allow support for original N64 controllers with the Classic Mini, or it’ll have to ship with four of these newfangled pads.
N64 Classic Mini: Release date
Nintendo has yet to announce to N64 Classic Mini. With the recent trademark filings, a release in 2018 could be a possibility. If that’s the case, it’s likely Nintendo will want to launch the retro console to coincide with the holiday season – probably with a release around September or October.
N64 Classic Mini: What games could it include?
An N64 Mini is an assured success for the Japanese console manufacturer and game developer. The NES Mini sold out almost instantly when it released in November of last year, and the SNES Mini sold through its preorder allocation almost minutes after its announcement – it’s clear that people are hungry for retro Nintendo games.
Just like the NES and SNES Minis, it’s likely an N64 Mini console would come with a selection of the platform’s best titles in an enhanced form from the Virtual Console available on Wii U. The current N64 lineup on Virtual Console is 21, the same number of games coming to the SNES Mini.
The SNES Mini also contained a never-before-released Star Fox sequel, Star Fox 2, but it’s unclear what additional game could come to an N64 Mini as many of the platform’s key titles are already available on Virtual Console. Still, my hopes are high for Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Pokémon Stadium and Rare’s back catalogue to make the cut.
Micro-consoles and retro revivals seem to be in vogue at the moment. Alongside Nintendo’s SNES Classic Mini announcement, Atari announced its rather nice Ataribox – stuffed full of who knows what – and Sega Forever is Sega’s attempt to shake up the mobile retro games market.
If next year’s N64 Mini goes down well, I expect to see a GameCube Mini in 2019. But before all of that happens – hopefully even before the N64 Mini is announced – Nintendo needs to bring the Virtual Console to the Nintendo Switch.