Nintendo 64, stylized as NINTENDO64 and often referred to as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France and December 1997 in Brazil. It is Nintendo's last home console to use ROM cartridges to store games. However, handhelds in the Game Boy line, however, continued to use Game Paks.
The ROM cartridges are region-locked, meaning that a game released in the PAL region can only be played with Nintendo 64 consoles released in the PAL region, and the same with Japanese and North American regions. However, the controllers are region-free and can be used on any console, regardless of where it was released for.
It was the first Nintendo console to support four players. As part of the fifth generation of gaming, it primarily competed with the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. Succeeded by Nintendo's GameCube in November 2001, N64 consoles continued to be produced until its discontinuation in Japan on April 30, 2002, Europe on May 16, 2003, North America on November 30, 2003, and Australia in 2003. The SNES was succeeded by the Nintendo GameCube and succeeded the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The N64 has no backwards compatibility with the SNES and the Nintendo GameCube does not have backwards compatibility with the N64.