A lot of people have been wondering, now that Nintendo struck gold with the NES Classic Edition, would there be other classic consoles to follow? Well, yes... yes there are. The SNES Classic Edition is due out this September, and now new information has surfaced showing why a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition just got a lot more likely.
NeoGaf spotted an entry filed by Nintendo in Europe at the European Union Intellectual Property Office for a new game controller. Well, technically it's a new controller based on an old controller... a classic controller.. the N64 controller.
According to the EU IPO site the filing was made on July 18th, just this past Tuesday, and the trademark filing has a giant 'ole image of the three-pronged N64 controller in all its illustrated glory. It's undoubtedly obvious what the trademark is for and what it relates to going through the information.
And just to further drive home the point that this isn't some one-off filing, NeoGaf listed all the other filings that Nintendo made with the EU IPO, including a filing for the NES Classic Edition controllers, a filing for the SNES Classic Edition controllers, and a filing for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.
It's noted that all of the filings are under the same goods and services branch of the trademark office, which deals with electronic media or digital storage and device management. This also includes displays, chargers, control apparatus and computational devices.
The interesting thing here is that there are some discussions about this possible development being in relation to a Nintendo Switch Virtual Console spin-off, which is not unlikely. The only problem is that why would Nintendo file a new trademark for the old N64 controller for Nintendo Switch VC games? There's no reason to get a separate controller just to play old N64 titles like Super Mario 64 or Mario Kart 64.
And, speaking of games and trademark filings, some people have wondered exactly how the N64 Classic Edition would work when a majority of the top games on the system were made by Rare? For those of you who don't know, Rare is now owned by Microsoft along with its IP, which includes Perfect Dark, Conker and Killer Instinct. Rare also made Goldeneye 64.
Some have argued that Nintendo could perhaps strike a deal with Microsoft to re-release Perfect Dark 64 and Killer Instinct: Gold on the N64 Classic Edition, but it still doesn't solve another major problem: Goldeneye 64. Nintendo would have to track down the licensing rights of whichever publisher still has publishing rights for the 007: James Bond license and then strike up a deal with that company, or request permission from the original rights holders at MGM.
Licensing could end up being the biggest nightmare here, especially with some of the biggest and most popular games on the N64: the wrestling games.
THQ has dissolved and AKI Corp's titles are now lost to time. AKI's games on the N64, including WCW Revenge and WWF No Mercy are absolute classics, but who does Nintendo turn to get the rights for those? Many of THQ's titles have moved hands to other publishers, so there might be hope in striking up a deal with 2K Games, which now makes WWE 2K titles, but it looks like unless Nintendo gets the licensing rodeo down, the N64 Classic Edition is going to have a rather thin library, assuming the trademark filing is any indication that it's actually coming.