Yep, same joystick port. Interestingly enough, the Sega Master system used the same connector. It was on the way to being a de-facto standard until Nintendo came along.
The C64 has a built-in sprite generator and a pretty decent bit blitter for its era, as well as a rather nice sound generator with the SID chip. You could do a lot with it. The big downside was the SLOOOOW disk drive. Theoretically the system supported cartridges too, but almost nobody used them.
Hmm, according to the Wiki, the C64 carts could be mapped to either 8kb or 16kb at a time. This compares alright with the NES's 32kb carts (before MMUs are factored in), especially since the C64 has 16x as much main memory as a NES (64kb vs. 2kb working RAM and 2kb video RAM in the NES). I don't know for certain, but have to assume that the C64 carts can do bank switching just as well as the NES carts. Some of the biggest NES carts ended up being 1024kb(!!).