The Nintendo 64, or N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console and part of the fifth generation, 64-bit era for which it was named after. The N64 is the successor of the Super Nintendo and predecessor to the Nintendo GameCube. The N64 was released on June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, and March 1997 in Europe and Australia. The N64 is the second-most shipped system made by Nintendo, with 62.5 million shipped worldwide. The most shipped is the Wii, which has shipped 70.93 million units worldwide as of March 31st, 2010.
Although no Metroid games were ever made for the N64, Samus made an appearance in Super Smash Bros. as a playable character. Supposedly, a Metroid game was coming out for the ill-fated 64 DD add-on, but the game was cancelled before it entered production due to the lack of a stable idea. This game was simply known as Metroid 64. This project eventually became Metroid Prime, the first Metroid game released for the GameCube.
- "I know that the American people have been eagerly anticipating a new Metroid game. I have been asked about it many times! Even through the entire Nintendo 64 period we were thinking of ways to produce a new Metroid title. We couldn't come up with any concrete ideas or vehicle at that time." Metroid Prime Roundtable QA, IGN (HTML)