To be fair, everyone could've seen this one coming, what with the awesome success Nintendo have had with NES and SNES Classic editions. Nevertheless, we're still glad because there's no way you haven't had great times with the original.
Note however that we still haven't heard anything official and it could be that Nintendo's filing of the patent is just to protect the company's intellectual property. You may recall Nintendo doing exactly that last year, when they patented the Gameboy design.
Having said that, it would be foolish for Nintendo not to cash in on the retro-gaming craze that's going around. The incredibly demand for the mini edition of NES rendered the unit impossible to find, whereas the SNES Mini sold around five million units, which is more than a sixth of the original N64's numbers. You do the math.
Golden Eye 007, Mario Kart 64, Banjo Kazooie, FIFA 64 and Resident Evil 2 are just some of the games that cross our minds and if you haven't played them on Nintendo 64, you probably don't remember the satisfying feeling of blowing into and then inserting cartridges. To this day I can't say with certainty whether that ever actually helped.
While we're on the subject, Nintendo 64 was the last console to use cartridges, even though Sega Saturn and PlayStation were already whisking us away to the magical land of CDs. The rest is history, particularly for Sega Saturn, which barely whisked anything after that.
In the end, it turned out that the same cartridges, whose usage earned Nintendo much praise for fluid gaming and non-existent loading times, brought about the console's downfall in a sense. After all, CDs were dirt cheap and copying them was a breeze. Furthermore, CDs had way more space and the entire production process was infinitely simpler than with making cartridges.
The console ended up selling around 33 million units and still remains one of the most iconic consoles ever, not least due to the incredibly cute form factor that, in my honest opinion, still looks every bit as gorgeous. Now bring on the N64 Mini.