2016 had the NES Classic, 2017 had the SNES Classic, and 2018 has the PlayStation Classic, so a Nintendo 64 Classic can’t be too far away, right? Don’t count on it. In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé says that while he “would not ever rule something out... what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”
“We were clear when we did the first two Classic series that, for us, these were limited-time opportunities that were a way for us as a business to bridge from the conclusion of Wii U as a hardware system to the launch of Nintendo Switch,” says Fils-Aimé. “That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system.”
“We’ll see what comes next.”
“So while consumers may have been anticipating something, we view these as limited-time opportunities. We’ve also now been very clear that as the consumer looks forward to engaging with our classic content that is going to happen more and more with the subscription service.”
Dreams of reliving the mid-to-late-’90s console wars all over again will have to wait, then. The lack of an N64 Classic would indeed be easier to swallow if you could simply play Ocarina of Time on a Switch through Nintendo’s online subscription. The trouble with that approach, of course, is that Nintendo has been very slow to roll out its offerings.
Currently subscribers to the Switch’s online service have access to around 30 original and tweaked versions of NES games, but no other systems are available, and Nintendo isn’t selling downloadable games through its usual Virtual Console platform either. But Fils-Aimé hints that more content will be on the way. “As we look to the future,” he says, “our subscription service, NSO, Nintendo Switch Online is going to be the place where you can play our classic content,” adding “We’ll see what comes next” when pressed on whether this will go beyond the NES.