Nintendo is a company whose very name is synonymous with video gaming. Chances are that you have played on, or at least seen, one of the three generations of home video game systems the company has created, not to mention the enormously popular hand-held game system, the Gameboy. The current system, the Nintendo 64 (N64), was a technical tour de force when it was introduced, and still compares admirably to other consoles on the market.

Nintendo 64 is the third generation of video game console from Nintendo. It was introduced in 1996.

As you read through the next few pages, you will learn how the N64 was developed, what's inside the box, how the controller works and how it all works together. You will also learn about the game cartridges and how they differ from CD-based games, all in this edition of HowStuffWorks.