Five Things You May Not Know About the Nintendo 64 - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 30 September 2011 / 26,803 Views

With the Nintendo 64's fifteenth anniversary earlier this week, many are talking about how great the software and system was, even if it wasn't on top of the market. You can ask anyone about the Nintendo 64 and probably get similar information regarding the system's success. But there are still some secrets the Nintendo 64 held that many may not be aware of across software, hardware and accessories. We look at a handful obscure facts about the Nintendo 64, which you may not have known about..

Game Boy to Nintendo 64 Link Cable

Game Boy to Nintendo 64 Link Cable

The Wii U's controller implements some familiar functions for long time Nintendo fans, specifically dating back to the Nintendo GameCube where players could connect Gameboy Advance systems to their home console. While the Nintendo 64 did have a Game Boy transfer pack for some Game Boy to Nintendo 64 features, it didn't quite work the same way, simply transferring information. Planned to launch late in the Nintendo 64's life span, the Game Boy to Nintendo 64 link cable would have done what the GameCube and Game Boy Advance did but a generation earlier. The cable never saw release on the Nintendo 64, most likely due to the Game Boy Advance and GameCube's launch on the horizon. 

Pokémon Stadium 1,2, and... 3?

Pocket Monsters Stadium

Pokémon games on consoles have proved not to fair too well over the years, but back in the late 90s it was still an unproven concept. If anything, taking your Pokémon to the big screen seemed like a brilliant idea. It happened and, while not great, gamers did indeed get to take their Pokémon onto the Nintendo 64 in two outings, Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2. Or if you were in Japan, Pocket Monster Stadium 2 and, for what was 2 in North America, Gold Silver edition. Where did the first one go? It only saw a release in Japan, and it's easy to see why. This version, for who knows what reason, contained only 42 Pokémon available for battle and it lacked the ability to bring Pokémon from the Game Boy experience onto the console. Essentially, the title might as well have been a beta for what became Pokémon Stadium in North America.

iQUE Player


Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your PSP Go (pretend you have one) was actually a Nintendo 64? China doesn't wonder, they know because they they had one. To help prevent piracy, which runs rampant in China, Nintendo and iQue made the iQue Player. Consumers  could download a variety of titles onto the system, including Super Smash Bros 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, F-Zero X, and more. Released in 2003, the platform was already behind the other markets. On the bright side for China, they did get Sin and Punishment a full three years before North America and Europe would. 

Nintendo 64's Vitality Sensor... Kind of

Nintendo 64 Bio Sensor

As of right now, we don't know if the Wii Vitality sensor will ever release. As we move onto the Wii U, it seems less likely with each passing day. While not built by Nintendo on the Nintendo 64, a third party created something similar for use with a Japanese-only Tetris 64 release. Clipping the sensor onto the player's ear would track their heart rate. The pace of the game would alter based on the player's heart rate, something often listed as an idea for Nintendo's more modern version. Will we ever once again get to play games using our heart rate? Who knows, but you can always import Tetris 64 and its sensor for some heart rate action.



Despite what some might think, the Nintendo 64DD is a pretty well known accessory. If not for you, you can make this a list of six. The 64DD supported writable discs for editable content and more storage space for games. But it also had another feature: it's online service. Randnet let the 64DD go online to share and download content, mail other users and more. Unfortunately, like the 64DD, it remained a Japanese-exclusive service. Gameshark, however, did create an online service for the North American 64 owners called Sharkwire, where players could upload and download game saves and look at specific gaming websites. It was nothing as elaborate as Nintendo's service, but it was a service and it was online.

What other obsure Nintendo 64 peripherals have you heard of? Have you actually used or seen anything on this list?

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amp316 (on 01 October 2011)

This article should be called Five Things You May Know About the Nintendo 64.

yo_john117 (on 01 October 2011)

I didn't know any of those things....but than again I don't know much about the N64 to begin with :P

ghost_of_fazz (on 30 September 2011)

I knew about all of them, I read about them in a Nintendo-only magazine from my country

Jumpin (on 02 October 2011)

Another thing you may not know about the N64. Developers never reached the system's full potential. The system possessed a 64-bit chipset, but 64-bit processing was never used. The N64 games were essentially 32-bit games.

Jumpin (on 01 October 2011)

I knew about the iQue from this site or IGN, but none of the others. Very interesting about the Gameboy connector.

blunty51 (on 01 October 2011)

I am shamed. I didn't know those things existed...'cept the gameboy thingie.

Tammi (on 01 October 2011)

Awww....the N64. The coolest Nintendo system release ever! How awesome it was when it was new!

TheBardsSong (on 30 September 2011)

I knew about all of these except the Gameboy link cable, but I am also a hardcore N64 fan. Good job on the article, I found it interesting and there aren't enough sites remembering the 15th anniversary of the NA 64.

UnknownFact (on 30 September 2011)

Some of these are new to me. Like that heart beat thingy.

usrevenge (on 30 September 2011)

not uncommon, but remember the expansion pack?

Michael-5 (on 30 September 2011)

Final Fantasy N64 The original name for N64 was "Ultra Nintendo" then later renamed "Nintendo Ultra 64" then N64. Also Animal Crossing for GCN is actually a port of the N64 version. Didn't know about most of the stuff above, except the iQUE

spurgeonryan (on 30 September 2011)

I knew about the ique, but not exactly what it was. Cool stuff. They had some weird and cool things back then!

KylieDog (on 30 September 2011)

The N64 got the gameboy thing, it just plugged into the N64 controller.

sethnintendo (on 02 October 2011)

They mentioned the data transfer pack which I actually used once to transfer my Mario Golf (GB Color) character to the N64 Mario Golf. The link cable as stated in the article was to allow connection like the GCN and GBA had (not just transferring data).

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thetonestarr (on 30 September 2011)

I didn't know about the vitality sensor and the PokeStadium prototype of sorts.

pariz (on 30 September 2011)

Very interesting though I knew 4 out of 5, being the chinese iQue the only thing I had never heard about. That controller is an xbox controller, huh?

Sullla (on 01 October 2011)

Pokemon games not faring well on consoles? Pokemon Stadium sold 5.88m copies and was the 5th best-selling game on the N64. Pokemon Snap also sold 3.63m and Pokemon Stadium 2 sold 2.54m copies. Obviously these games were pretty popular in their day... Otherwise a nice read.

Araknie (on 01 October 2011)

I didn't know only iQue controller...what an article...

Michael-5 (on 30 September 2011)

My post isn't showing up! WTH 3rd attempt. There was a Final Fantasy prototype for N64, but it was later switched to PS1. (look it up, there are screenshots online, can't post a link cause of posting error on VGC) Also the original name was Nintendo Ultra, but that was changed before release.

Michael-5 (on 30 September 2011)

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MARCUSDJACKSON (on 02 October 2011)

things i never new

Comments below voting threshold

KylieDog (on 30 September 2011)

WHy do people vote factual comments down?

RolStoppable (on 30 September 2011)

It has nothing to do with being factual or not, Kyliedog. People just don't like you.

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DonFerrari (on 30 September 2011)

And people say Ninty is creative when they repeat things 3 generations later and sometimes things created by third parties.

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