Posted By: wraggster
Continuing our network wide feature for just about every console thats emulated and that we own, in time it can be used as a reference point for people to look at what games are the very best on each system
Firstly heres a look at each system and a description to remind you of the history of the console.
Nintendo stretched the life of their 16-bit console for as long as they could. Their initial attempts at entering the market with a 32-bit CD add-on (see Playstation) never saw the light of day. After the releases of Sony and Sega?s 32-bit systems, Nintendo began spreading the word of their new console in development. The leap to a 64-bit console became known as Project Reality. The system was a joint venture by Nintendo and Silicon Graphics. Nintendo would later change the name to ?Ultra 64?.
Nintendo shocked developers and gamers alike with the decision to remain with a cartridge format instead of CD?s, which had become the most favorable game media for the time. This turned away many 3rd Party software developers who felt the cartridge did not have the storage capacity to handle their game projects (a weakness that hurt the Atari Jaguar). Nintendo stuck by the cartridge format saying that it was the best media to use with the Ultra 64, and that CD?s would be plagued with extreme ?load? times. Also carts were more durable then CD?s which are prone to scratching (particularly with younger kids). Eventually Nintendo would put all doubts to rest in 1995 with a playable Super Mario 64 shown at a Japanese trade show. Super Mario 64?s lush 3D visuals were enough to regain interest in Nintendo?s new console.
On June 20th, 1996, the console was again renamed Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan along with Super Mario 64, and two other games. It was then released in USA on 26 September of the same year. Other countries saw N64 releases soon after.
The console was an immediate success, but a shortage of quality games began to slow system sales. Games were released in small trickles. Developers found the cartridge format limiting. Effects such as Full Motion Video and large quantities of voiceover, music, and sound effects could not be reproduced due to the limited storage capacity (keep in mind however that N64 can produce CD quality sound). Gamers found some of the N64 3rd Party game releases cheaper on rival consoles CD formats (Carts had a high manufacturing price which was filtered down, naturally, to the consumer. The same held for other game titles large in size. The more megabits the cart the... the higher the price).
Even with the small amount of game releases, Nintendo managed to release amazing game titles based on franchise characters from their SuperNES / NES days. Also with help from RARE, the company that breathed new life into the SuperNES with ?Donkey Kong Country?, The Nintendo 64 saw some great game exclusives that kept gamers happy with their console choice. While 64-bit updates to popular SuperNES games was the way to go, it also generated a Nintendo 64 stereotype of being a ?Kiddy? console (although most of those supposed kiddy games are amazingly fun). Rival console manufacturers would use this stereotype to their advantage in an effort to attract older ?hardcore? gamers.
Nintendo clearly understood that the cartridge storage abilities would limit 3rd Party developers. In 1997 they began announcing a device called the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive or N64DD for short. It would be a magnetic disk drive, which connected to the N64?s expansion port. The device would add an addition 4 megabytes of RAM to the N64, and offer 64 megabytes of additional read / writeable RAM for developers to use. The device saw numerous delays, and eventually was released in Japan only. Other countries however did receive the N64 Expansion Pack. This accessory was released around 1998. It added an additional 4Mb of RAM . Games specifically made to take advantage of it?s capability could increase the game's resolution, improve graphics, make levels larger, etc. For other games however it did nothing.
In the end Nintendo 64 was a remarkable machine that brought about innovations such as controller ?rumble? effects, and analog / digital controllers. The console was supported well into 2002, and sold over 30 million units worldwide. It also marked the end of the ?Cartridge Era?.
FACT: The N64 console was developed in a wide assortment of colors. Even a special edition Pikachu(ph33r the Pikachu!) unit was created.
Thanks again to Dark Watcher for his info above.
Now heres our question to you - Whats the greatest Nintendo64 Game Ever ?
Check out N64 Homebrew for info on all things Nintendo64 Related.
More DCEmu Console History Can Be Found Here