1UP examines 10 years of Nintendo 64 history highlighting memorable games for a console that lacked third-party support (and games in general). From the article: "[N64] might just be the most controversial console in the history of mass market gaming ... it began the descent of Nintendo from the throne - with this console, the Big N failed to achieve majority sales for the first time in history, and has been unable to regain its glory since."
The console's descent from the gaming throne was largely in part, if not fully, to a last minute strategy change with a certain electronics manufacturer. Wikipedia reminds
us: "While Nintendo chose the cartridge format for the N64, the company originally signed a contract with Sony in 1988 to develop a CD-ROM drive add-on for the SNES. When Hiroshi Yamauchi read the (already signed by Nintendo) original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo and learned that it allowed Sony 25% of the profits from the machine and also a part of games' sales profits, he was furious. He deemed the contract totally unacceptable, and secretly canceled all plans for a joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment."
That CD-ROM drive later became the PlayStation. While not trying to beat a dead horse, what's your take on arguably the most crucial turning point for console gaming given the industry's status quo?