Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

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Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby Voor » October 14th, 2016, 2:52 pm

Just curious. With the success of Mario bros and Mario world, you would have thought it would have been an automatic decision. Interesting

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby Stalvern » October 14th, 2016, 5:28 pm

I know that the PlayStation's launch forced Nintendo to significantly lower their system's price from what they had planned. Maybe they were going to include the game but had to leave it out to maintain profitability.

Given that the only other launch title was Pilotwings 64, N64 adopters were pretty much guaranteed to buy Super Mario 64 anyway. Ultimately, I don't think that it made much of a difference whether the game was bundled or not; the system had much, much bigger issues to deal with.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby Atariboy » October 14th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Nintendo likely expected to be able to sell every N64 that they could manufacture in those opening months and that the vast majority of those customers would happily pay the $70 or so to buy Super Mario 64 separately.

So likely just a sound business decision.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby tortimer » October 15th, 2016, 11:17 am

I've been thinking the same thing about Mario Maker and the Wii U.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby strat » October 15th, 2016, 5:18 pm

I have the feeling Nintendo just didn't want the console to be more expensive than the Saturn and PS1. Either that or they wanted to spare themselves the embarrassment of months of people buying only a Mario-bundled N64 and no additional games. Okay, that's a bit of snark. If anything they probably assumed there would be people buying other games in the '96 holiday lineup and not necessarily Mario 64. Might as well sell it separately and keep the msrp on the level of the competition.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby Tron » October 16th, 2016, 5:09 pm

I remember that now. Nintendo decided to follow Sony's evil example. I was irked by Nintendo's decision to not include the Mario game. I think the only thing that calmed the outlash was that Sony didn't have a pack-in game either. Still it was bogus

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby Rookie1 » October 17th, 2016, 8:00 am

Did they have any pack in titles for the N64? I mean, the SNES had like half a dozen pack in bundles, but I dont remember the N64 ever having one.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby JustLikeHeaven » October 17th, 2016, 8:58 am

I think this had to do more with price than anything else. Those games retailed for $70+ because of Nintendo's decision to stick with carts. They probably could have packed the game in with the system, but I'm sure the price of the console would have had to go up. As we all know, price matters when launching a new system.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby strat » October 17th, 2016, 4:49 pm

Just found an old listserve thingy from early in Sept '96; Mario 64 was 59.99 at ToysRUs.
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!top ... 8SHY9FIExE

In Nintendo's defense, they lowered the price of the console from $250 to $200 at the last minute - as recently as a few months before the launch gaming mags were still talking about a $250 price point and since Mario 64 wasn't bundled with the system in Japan most likely everyone expected to pay $320 for both.

The N64 had a bunch of software bundles down the line, though most of them seem to have been in Europe. Nintendo could've had an accounting-related reason for selling the system in North America without a Mario game (though of course most of us will just think they wanted to keep the system at the same price as the PS1 and Saturn). The SNES and NES were sold as a base unit at times with their pack-in titles also available separately.
https://www.google.com/search?biw=1366& ... n64+bundle

By the way, this is a wild guess, but I imagine the PS1 didn't launch with a pack-in game because nearly all its games were developed by third parties - and the few made by Sony weren't very impressive. If the PS1 had been bundled with any of those games, it would have been logical to make it exclusive and that would have given the developer some leverage on Sony. Many of the PS1 launch titles were multiplatform themselves.

Does anyone know if there was ever a PS1 game bundle? I can't find any at a glance.

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Re: Why wasn't Mario 64 a pack-in game?

Postby twilighthotel » October 18th, 2016, 10:22 am

In later times, the N64 used Donkey Kong as a pack-in game and another bundle had one of the Pokemon titles (Snap?). Playstation 1 did eventually have at least a couple different bundles, one with Battle Arena Tohshinden and the other with Ridge Racer.

I assume Nintendo figured that Mario 64 was too important of a game to just give away. They needed to throw SMB in with the 8-bit NES to help move units since they weren't an established hardware company yet in the 80's. There wasn't the same sense of urgency 10+ years later.

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