Nintendo's got a new console in the Nintendo Switch, which launched back in March. It is, for all intents and purposes, Nintendo's main product, but one of its classics — the Nintendo 64 — may be getting a miniaturized re-release.
In addition to the Switch, Nintendo makes the 3DS — a handheld console that's winding down after years of popularity.
And, in addition to the 3DS, Nintendo's recently started producing miniaturized, less expensive versions of its original consoles.
There was the NES Classic Edition, which launched in late 2016 and subsequently ended production earlier this year. And then there's the Super NES Classic Edition, which is planned for launch on September 29. Both play into the nostalgia of millions, and both are limited in supply — the NES Classic Edition was only produced for around six months, while the Super NES Classic Edition is said to run production through the end of 2017.
In addition to all those things, Nintendo appears to be making a similarly small, less expensive version of the original Nintendo 64.
That's the original Nintendo 64 you see above, but a European trademark filing from Nintendo indicates that a "Classic Edition" of the original is in the works. That means a miniaturized version of the original system and its gamepad, a sub-$100 price point, and a gaggle of classic games built right into the console.
To be clear, Nintendo hasn't announced such a console, nor has the company previously indicated its interested in making a "Classic Edition" of the original Nintendo 64. But we do have some clues from the filing that point to just such a console being in the works.
In the filing, a distinctive image is shown:
The trademark image, discovered by gaming forum NeoGAF, isn't just notable because it's the outline of the Nintendo 64 gamepad — it's notable because it's the same outline of a gamepad that appears on the retail branding of Nintendo's other "Classic Edition" consoles.
That silhouette of the NES Classic Edition gamepad on the top of the box? It's identical to another trademark filing image from Nintendo:
This close-up really highlights how similar the image is:
Nintendo filed the same logo trademark in Europe for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System gamepad silhouette, and that same silhouette appears on top of the Super NES Classic Edition box.
So, is Nintendo making a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition for sure? No, not for sure — but there's certainly some smoke here. And it would make a lot of sense; the generation that grew up with Nintendo 64 is now old enough to look at it nostalgically. For now, though, there's only smoke. Nintendo didn't respond to request for comment as of publishing.