(Pocket-lint) - After the phenomenal success of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System in 2016, with stock selling out almost immediately as pre-orders became available, the same seems to have happened again with the follow-up: the SNES Classic Mini.
It took mere minutes after Nintendo UK opened its own pre-order page for the 2017 retro games machine to sell out too.
With such incredible interest in them both, we don't think it's too far a stretch to believe that Nintendo will aim for third-time lucky next year, and extend the line further, with a micro version of the next console in the chain: the N64.
Indeed, we're willing to bet our grandmothers on a Nintendo Classic Mini: N64 Edition - otherwise known as N64 Classic Mini - being announced in summer of 2018. And with one or two corroborating rumours flying around, it's why we present everything you need to know about the prospective device, including our wish list of games we'd like to see on it.
We'll update this feature as and when new information comes to light.
What is the Nintendo Classic Mini range of consoles?
At the end of 2016, Nintendo released a small, self-contained version of its original 80s games console, the NES Classic Mini. Priced at £49.99, it came with a single controller and 30 legendary NES games preinstalled, plus an all-new front end to flick through them.
It sold out quickly and received rave reviews, including from ourselves: NES Classic Mini review. However, the cable on the controller was far too short, leading many to invest in an extension lead or third-party wireless control pad.
A follow-up, based on Nintendo's second major home games console, the Super Nintendo, will be available globally on 29 September. Priced at £69.99, the SNES Classic Mini will come in different variants for Europe, North America and Japan, to ape the styles of the originals, and pre-orders have already been selling like hot cakes.
The Western versions come with 21 games preinstalled, including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2, and two controllers with longer cables this time around.
If Nintendo is to have a third bite at the cherry, we suspect it will be the last. The N64, originally released in 1996 in the US, 97 in the UK, was the last Nintendo home console to feature game cartridges rather than discs - until the Switch, of course. Its games, therefore, would be easier to emulate than those for its successor, the GameCube. Indeed, there are plenty of N64 emulators around that work well on other machines.
One distinct rumour certainly suggests the N64 Classic Edition is on the cards. A European trademark request for a graphic that looks exactly like the original N64 controller has been officially filed. It matches similar graphics for the NES and SNES controllers used with branding for the current Classic Edition consoles.
Nintendo N64 Classic Mini release date, price and availability
If Nintendo is to follow-up the NES Classic Mini and SNES Classic Mini consoles with an N64 Classic Mini, it will likely announce it in a similar time frame to the previous models.
The NES Classic Mini was announced on 21 July 2016 and released 11 November 2016 in the UK and US. The SNES Classic Mini was announced on 27 June 2017 and will be available from 29 September 2017.
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It is likely therefore that an N64 Classic Mini would be announced in June or July 2018, if it indeed is part of Nintendo's future plans.
We would also expect it to be available from September 2018. However, pre-orders would likely begin on the same day as it is announced or a day later - as was the case with the SNES version. And it will likely sell out quickly too.
As for price, the NES Classic Mini was $59.99 in the States, £49.99 in the UK. The SNES Mini $79.99/£69.99. Considering the $20/£20 rise each time, presumably for more complex innards and the extra controller, it is safe to guess an N64 version would be $99.99/£89.99 respectively.
Nintendo N64 Classic Mini games
Here's the crunch. Any future Classic Mini console will be defined by its games. Both the NES and SNES Mini consoles have a large selection of first-party games from Nintendo, plus some from third-party partners, such as Capcom and Namco Bandai.
Here then are N64 games we'd like to see amongst the 20-30 we'd expect to be preinstalled.
Super Mario 64
Not just one of the best N64 games but one of the best games of all time. It changed the platform game genre for ever, adding 3D puzzles and a more open world feel to platforming.
Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch is reportedly based on its formula.
Easily our favourite snowboarding game of all time, it used the unique N64 controller to its max - providing easy to grasp but difficult to master stunts. But the races themselves are also unsurpassed.
There were plenty of fun tennis games before Mario made his racquet-based mark, but this is the most fun of all. Crazy on-court antics made for a super multiplayer experience.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
As the only Kirby game to be released on N64 it's a shoo-in if the Mini version materialises. It's a 2.5D platformer featuring the round, pink ball o' fun.
Another classic platformer (there were many on the N64), Yoshi's Story was the last game starring the wee dinosaur until Yoshi's Woolly World many years later.
Its not the best Pokemon game of all time, but it does sate that Pocket Monsters battling urge with turn-based skirmishes with 42 of the Pokemon from the series early days.
Basically a follow-up to Super Mario RPG, this role-player was the first to star the 2D version of Mario in a 3D world. It's well worth a play.
Donkey Kong Country 64
With Mario's transition into 3D a huge success it stood to reason that Donkey Kong would soon follow. One thing we remember about this game is how much more difficult it was than most of its time.
Star Fox 64
Star Fox and Star Fox 2 are pre-installed games on the SNES Classic Mini so, should Nintendo opt for a reimagined N64 release, this should be one of the first on the list.
Mario Kart 64
To be honest, of all the generations of Mario Kart, this is our least favourites. The tracks were a little to wide in our opinion. Still, it's a Mario Kart game and. as such, is worthy nonetheless.
It is unlikely that Banjo-Kazooie or sequel, Banjo-Tooie, will make it onto any Nintendo console, let alone the N64 Classic Mini. It was developed by Rare, which is now part of Microsoft Studios and currently making Sea of Thieves for Xbox One. Both original platformers were also rereleased for Xbox recently, further hampering their chances.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Like Mario 64, Ocarina of Time is one of the greatest games of all time, not just for the N64. The 3D RPG was the direct inspiration for every home console Zelda since, with Breath of the Wild owing much to it.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Some believe that Majora's Mask was even better than Ocarina of Time. This was exemplified by the original cartridge being in high demand, yet with few copies manufactured. It was therefore hard to get hold of, which amplified its cult status.
Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo's excellent beat-em-up, starring many of its own characters, became a huge hit and has subsequently spawned a few sequels. This is where it started.
Wave Race 64
Alongside 1080° Snowboarding, this was our favourite N64 racing game. It offered four-player split-screen action, which we used at many a gathering. Great fun.
Pilot Wings 64
While not as good as the Super Nintendo original, Pilot Wings 64 still offered a great collection of air-based mini-games to pit your wits against.
And finally, of course...
Even though it is widely regarded to be one of the best games ever, this will never happen sadly. Not only was it made by Rare, which we explain above is now part of Microsoft, but the licensing mess that has put it into limbo for almost 20 years are unlikely to ever be resolved.