The first gaming system my brother and I ever played on was the Nintendo 64. It was the only system we had. He was too little to hold the controller right and would have it sitting in his lap while he moved the joystick and pushed buttons. That was also when I loved cutting my own hair and when scissors were highly regulated.
That N64 saw a lot of use. Too much loving is what put it out of commission. My brother and I would get so excited as we played that the too short cords would yank the device off the shelf. Our beloved friend started fritzing. But, like many children, we moved on to the next toy, the Gamecube. But it was a long time before we could return to play the N64 classics. But it wasn't the same. The weight of the controller was different, the buttons were wrong and there wasn't a cord tickling your feet as you played.
I bemoaned the loss of the N64 while I was at college. I had been listening to the soundtracks for Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time, complete with the opening a chest and dying clips. Link (my brother's online code name) overheard this and decided to see what really went wrong with the N64. We still had it, along with all of the games. They were collecting dust in one of the corners of our house. He pulled it out, cleaned it up and figured out what went wrong. New power supply cords were bought, space was made and, when I came home for the summer, he made sure I played on the beloved N64.
I had to remember which of the three prongs I had to hold, the cord kept tickling my feet, I had to sit close to the TV and the joystick sqeacked. It was lovely.
Our father was just as excited to see that dinosaur up and moving again. He was even more excited when he discovered that Link and I would be feirce competition in multiplayer games now. He would even lose!
While I still love the Wii, the Xbox, the 3DS XL, they weren't my very first device. And I can see how Nintendo moved on from the N64. There are things that it cannot do and things it can do but creates lag while doing. But the Nintendo 64 will always be special for me. Probably in the same way the classic arcade games will be special to those who grew up playing them. They star in delightfull memories of simpler times, happy times.
And my brother brought all of that back. I have the bestest brother in the whole wide world.