Nintendo Shows Off N64 Line-up

Nintendo showcases its N64 software line-up at E3. No real surprises, but a solid display nonetheless.

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Nintendo of America today announced its coming N64 line-up during the company's pre-E3 press conference in Los Angeles. While the assembly didn't exactly turn up any surprise announcements, the showing pitched a solid stake to debunk recent media criticism of the current N64 console's waning lifespan due to the arrival of Sony's PlayStation2 in Japan, the impending PS2 release in the States, the Dreamcast, and the "Dolphin," Nintendo's next console, which did not show its face at the conference.

"It's not over," said NOA's executive vice president of sales and marketing, Peter Main. Nintendo initially supported this comment by sharing respectable sales figures it credits to the launch of the company's line of transparent, brightly colored N64 system casings called Funtastic. The overwhelming Nintendo battle cry, however, came from Main, echoing the overall tone of the conference, "we have great games."

The coming N64 line-up features developer Rare as the wunderkind, offering Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, Dinosaur Planet, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Mickey's Speedway USA. Miyamoto's and Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was showcased as well as Eternal Darkness, Kirby 64, Starcraft 64, Paper Mario (formerly known as both Super Mario RPG 2 and Super Mario Adventure), Mario Tennis, and Excitebike 64. On the Pokemon side, the company announced a new game, Pokemon Puzzle League for the N64 and Game Boy Color, as well as the expected Pokemon Gold and Silver for GBC, and Hey You, Pikachu! for the N64.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is Miyamoto's current brain trust and serves as a follow-up 3D adventure to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The game is currently available in Japan and will hit stores in the States on November 20.

Perfect Dark, Rare's follow-up to its excellent first-person shooter GoldenEye 007 appeared at last year's E3 and is just days away from releasing in the States on May 22, 2000. Banjo-Tooie is the sequel to Rare's bird and bear adventure Banjo-Kazooie, and will feature first-person shooter aspects and a greater degree of freedom when playing as Banjo or Kazooie during the game as the characters won't be tethered to each other. Banjo-Tooie will ship in the US on August 28.

Nintendo announced Dinosaur Planet for the N64 recently and gave a meatier demonstration during the press conference today. The game is a Rare-developed adventure title in which you play as Sabre or Krystal as they attempt to save their world. Nintendo expects to ship Dinosaur Planet during the holiday season 2000.

As per the recent announcement of Nintendo investing in Silicon Knights, the creators of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and others, Nintendo showed off Eternal Darkness, the Silicon Knights developed action/adventure game that's heading to the N64 on October 30, 2000.

Conker's Bad Fur Day is the spanking new image for the old Conker's Quest game we anticipated some time ago for the N64. Rare developers are forging new terrain with this one, as it's a self-professed genre buster we're calling a PG-13 cursing simulation. In actuality, it's a slappy little adventure game that features dark, back row humor and sarcasm. Mickey's Speedway USA is a group project among Nintendo, Rare, and Disney Interactive and features the Disney characters in a Mario Kart setting. This licensed title will ship during the holiday 2000.

Pokemon Puzzle League is a single or two-player puzzle game that will ship to the N64 and Game Boy Color this fall, with the N64 version arriving first, on September 24, and the GBC version hitting stores November 20.

Look for hands-on impressions and more media for these and other Nintendo 64 titles in the next couple days.

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