Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gaming Bits: The Nintendo 64DD (N64 20th anniversary special)

I Already discussed the 64 several times on this blog, but did you know that the 64 had an add on? It was only released in Japan, and pretty much bombed there too. What happened? What makes this console so interesting? Is it worth buying today? Find out all this and more on Gaming Bits...

In 1995 N64 was ready to be released, but game developers were unsure of this mysterious new system, Mainly due to the fact that it used cartridges, everyone from Capcom to Konami to Enix to Namco were unsure that the system would really be good for developing games, games were going to be expensive and hard to manufacture, that was a big no no for a medium that was starting to gain steam with the mainstream. The developer that hurt the most was probably Square who moved their main game development to The Playstation along with every other developer who couldn't stand Nintendo's stubborn refusal to adapt and Sega's Hard to develop games for Saturn. Nintendo saw this coming and in that same year, The Big N unveiled their 64DD, which combined the best of both worlds of a cartridge and CD. It was revealed to the world in 1996, and got everyone excited, but it was delayed from oblivion and back until December of 1999, when any interest for the system was pretty much dead...

The 64DD had magnetic diskettes that could store 64MB, possibly more, a real time clock, better graphics, bigger games, add-ons for cartridge games, ability to connect online to Randnet, possibilities for DLC, and a RAM expansion pak. it had 36 MBit of ROM. That's what it promised but did it deliver? Well...

It had a modem packed in with the system, which ran at 28.8 kbps dialup. When the earlier released Dreamcast had 56 kbps. that's the first big problem with the 64DD, It did not evolve from it's proposed 1997/1998 release date. However it did come with a keyboard, mouse, and Randnet right out of the box. Randnet was a service where you could Email, Chat, Play games online, swap save files, and read a newsletter from Nintendo.

Several games were rumored for the system (many of which didn't come out or were released on cartridge). From Mario 64 2, Ura Zelda (which really should be it's own gaming bits), Pokemon RPG, Kirby 64, Banjo Kazooie 2, Conker, Unreal (yes, that Unreal), and Earthbound 64, however there's no definitive complete list of 64DD games that were promised, but only 9 games were ever released for the system, most of them weren't anything to write home about.


Half those games were Mario Artist games. Paint Studio (think Mario Paint), Talent Studio (Using the game boy camera to impose your face on 3D Model People), Polygon studio (which you could make 3D Models), and Communication Kit (allows for you to share your creations with the world).

There were more Mario artist games planned with Game Maker (which might've been like Warioware DIY), Graphical Message Maker (which I assume would've been like pictochat, I don't know), Sound Maker (Which Might've been like the sound software on DSi), and Video Jockey maker (which I assume has something to do with music, I guess).

Doshin the Giant, a super Japanese god sim where you play a giant, there was an add on but it require d you to beat the first game first.

Simcity 64, a fully 3D Version of Simcity that was different from the Simcity released on a cartridge.

Japan Pro Golf Tour 64, a decent Golf game with cool Character Models.

F-Zero X Expansion Kit. the best game on the system. With more tracks, features like a track editor. It shows what the DD Was capable of...


1) It was released too late, the PS2 and Dolphin were on the way, and Dreamcast was already released in most places in the world, so everyone knew it was a better Idea to wait. 2) It tons of more games planned than released, especially when games (like the Killer app for the System Ocarina of Time/Zelda 64 was released on cartridge or in the case of Mother 3/Earthbound 64, not released at all) and 3) IT WAS A FREAKING ADD ON, what did you Expect.


F**K NO!!! It's to expensive (Hundreds of dollars), rare (15,000 sold), and it's better as a trophy console, there's currently no good emulation option so if you want to try it, you're SOL...


Let's talk about something a little more modern, and not from Nintendo or Sega No less...

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