With rival SEGA a continued (albeit faltering) presence in the video game industry and Sony beginning to establish itself as a major player for years to come, Nintendo had to find a way to keep some of the spotlight on them in 1995 as they continued to work towards the launch of their next console, the Nintendo 64 — or as it was known at this period in time, the “Nintendo Ultra 64.” One such way of doing so was by announcing that they were putting together a “Dream Team” to support the platform.
The Dream Team was revealed with a six-page feature in the April 1995 issue of Nintendo Power magazine (Volume 71, page 67), declaring it an “exclusive club” in which “the first games to be released for the Nintendo Ultra 64 will appear only on that platform,” with no “watered-down versions” appearing on other video game platforms. “Nintendo of America has been busy creating exclusive relationships with top publishers and developers so that NU64 buyers will have the best library of games possible. These partners have received early development help from Nintendo and SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) so they could begin work on their games immediately.”
Members of the Dream Team started at the top with hardware, the members of that segment including Rambus, Silicon Graphics, and of course, Nintendo themselves, while software tools were provided by Alias Research, MultiGen, and Software Creations. Then there are the exclusive developers: Acclaim, Angel Studios, GameTek, DMA Design, Paradigm, Rare, Sierra Online, Software Creations, Spectrum Holobyte, Williams, and Nintendo once again. After the initial reveal, other companies to sign on as Dream Team members included WMS Industries, Paradigm Simulation, Ocean, Time Warner Interactive, and Mindscape.
Nintendo put a lot of stock and faith into these companies to make their 64-bit hardware launch a success, and over the course of this series, we’re going to take a look back at each of these companies (as best as we’re able, at least) to see what they were known for before becoming Dream Team members, what they brought to the table for the Nintendo 64, and where they are today.