Nintendo Switch Pro rumor Stimulus check update Paramount Plus SpaceX explosion Square takes stake in Tidal QAnon and March 4

Did a Nintendo 64 Classic surprise just get spoiled?

Or is Nintendo just covering its bases legally?

Nintendo already released a tiny cute "classic" edition of the NES, and the Super NES is coming September 29 this year, but a recent trademark filing could mean the N64 Classic Edition could be the next miniature retro console.

The company filed four graphical trademarks with the European Union Intellectual Property Office on July 18 -- and while some of them were for the NES and SNES consoles and controllers we've already seen, one was a dead giveaway for the iconic Nintendo 64 gamepad.


The 3-pronged controller design for the N64 is unmistakable.

Nintendo/European Union Intellectual Property Office

The three-prong design of the controller in the drawing, with an analog stick in the middle, is clearly a N64 controller. For reference, here's what the actual controller looks like:


The controller that made Mario 64 so fun to play.


The other graphical trademarks submitted on the same day were similar black-and-white drawings of controllers for the NES, SNES and Switch consoles. (All of the drawings were discovered by one NeoGAF forum user.)

The reason why this evidence is so compelling isn't just that a new Nintendo trademark looks like an N64 controller -- it's that it looks like the exact art style Nintendo uses on its boxes and marketing materials for its Classic line of mini retro consoles. You can see a similarly simple drawing of an SNES Classic Edition controller on the top of this box, for instance: 


Note the white controller on the top of the box.

Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Does this mean an N64 Classic Edition is in the works? Not so fast. Companies often register trademarks to protect themselves, even for products they have no intention of manufacturing, and one of Nintendo's new drawings was for the Nintendo Switch, which won't be considered retro for a long time yet. But it's worth noting there are no filings yet for Nintendo's other consoles including the Game Boy, GameCube or Nintendo DS. 

We're already excited about the possibility of firing up Mario 64, GoldenEye and Perfect Dark and other N64 classic games -- as unlikely as some of those might be, given the rights issues around third-party N64 titles.