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Brazilian Nintendo 64
Topic Started: Nov 6 2013, 06:58 PM (6,946 Views)
Acrof
Newbie
I've got a NUSM-001(BRA), probably because I live in Brazil and my console was manufactured here, I wonder if it has the same guts of an American N64 NUSCPU-001 console. It does play NTSC games, and everything American related works on it, with exception of Hey You Pikachu! (They say that this game, by needing English-only voice commands, was not suitable to the Brazilian audience--Portuguese speakers--so they made a lock of sorts that prevent this game from running in a Brazilian console.)

The color signal here is PAL-M, Brazilian standard back then, it's basically PAL, but running at 60Hz. =P

Before showing pictures of my Brazilian N64, I'd like to give a little more background:

During the 80s and 90s, two major companies manufactured videogame consoles here in Brazil.

TEC TOY did Sega related products, and had an awesome support for their nationalized consoles. To the point they provided full game translations and even their own games. It was a company that made electronic toys (as you can guess from the name), and made so much success here, that Brazil is one of the few markets where the Master System beat the s* out of the NES.

This company still exists, and still manufactures cheapo Megadrives and Master Systems, not too long ago it produced it's own console, named Zeebo, a complete commercial failure. It still makes cheapo DVD players and other electronics. They made every Sega system ever released here (and even some that don't exist anywhere else in the world) from the Master System to the Dreamcast (including games and accessories).

GRADIENTE did Nintendo related products, often under the name Playtronic. Their support was good, but not as great as Tec Toy's. Unlike TecToy though, Gradiente was specialized at electronics such as TVs and Stereos, I remember they made awesome Hi-Fi audio equipment back in the 80s. (It actualy made products so good, that it was hard to choose between an big branded product, like Sony or Panasonic, or a Gradiente product). It started in the game industry with the NES, and produced every nintendo console from that to the Game Cube (games and accessories too). After that, it went bankrupt, and no longer made consoles or any other electronics.

Right now, Gradiente is slooooowly coming back from the grave, releasing (not so great) tablets and smart phones in the market. However, is not even a shadow of what in once was.

Sony? Well, it wasn't officially present in the country as far as videogames go, so basically anything you bought was imported.

Now that you had a little background, let's look at the Gradiente/Playtronic Nintendo 64, shall we?

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Warning sticker written in portuguese, it reads: "Do not remove the Jumper from the console. Check the instruction manual."

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"Warning: Use only with the included AC adapter.
Manufactured by Gradiente Entertainment Limited under license from Nintendo of America INC.
Brazilian industry. ©1996 Nintendo. All rights reserved."
Below that is the address where this unit was assembled, wich would be Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas (yeah, we have a state with that name xD).

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Serial number from Gradiente. Most of it's products have this same sticker.

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Cartridge slot, you can see it's got the american's N64 physical locks for the cartridges.



Now to the AC Adapter....


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Euro standard plug. Here most of our wall outlets support both american and euro plugs, though brazilian companies can only use the euro standard on their electronics.

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"Warning: Only for domestic use.
-Use only with the Nintendo 64 console.
-Do not open, risk of electric shock."
Below that is where the PSU was assembled, again, in Manaus.

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Self explanatory. The ony fun fact about it is that it is in fact, a multi voltage PSU. We have both 127V and 220V here in Brazil. 220V is more common to the north, 127V is more common to the south, like where I live. And yes, it does work with 110V.

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How it looks when the PSU is plugged in. I've heard it is bigger and sticks out a little bit more than the american PSU, I can't confirm that as I have never compared both.

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Voltage output pinout.


The controller...


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By the side is my copy of Pokemon silver, also made by Gradiente.

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Another sticker saying where it was assembled, and that it was licensed by Nintendo.


The weird part is...
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"MADE IN JAPAN"?? xD Maybe they didn't want to waste time in customizing the plastic shell. lol


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With my Transfer Pak, this one is american.


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As you can see, works with foreign accessories.



The game cartridges....



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Both made by Gradiente, note that the Mario 64 has the PLAYTRONIC logo instead of the Gradiente logo on the Pokemon Stadium.
Both games are in english, no difference whatsoever in the gameplay from the american version you all know.
As you can see from my Stadium 2 and Pokemon Silver cartridges, they came with normal labels, here they don't have that metallic shine on them, shame.


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Backside of the cartridges.

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Serial sticker from Gradiente.
The back label has all the standard stuff in portuguese.
"The system must be turned off before inserting or removing the cartridge.
Do not turn on and off the system repeatedly.
Do not blow or touch the conector with your fingers.
Do not let it get wet, nor expose it to high temperatures.
Check the instruction manual for extra precautions and details on maintenace."
As expected, assembled in Manaus.




Well this is it for today. I still have the box of this system (though it's not in good shape), and I'll take pictures later.
Internal pictures I'll try to take tomorrow.

Hope you liked what you saw so far. ;)
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MrKoippa
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edit
Edited by MrKoippa, Feb 6 2016, 06:00 AM.
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DeeMoney
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Outback Adventurer
Thanks for that Acrof. It's interesting to see how Nintendo sold there products in other countries. I must admit I was completely unaware that they had this type of setup in Brazil.

A very interesting read mate. Appreciate you taking the time to put all that together.
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Acrof
Newbie
Well, I'd say Gradiente was the one to contact Nintendo, asking for permission to manufacture their stuff.

Playtronic is basically the name they choose for this association. It's rather funny as some stuff keep the "Gradiente" logo despite that. xD

In the end of the 80s, Nintendo was not interested in selling the NES over here anymore, so Gradiente (very smart) produced it's own clone.
It was massively popular back then. It was called "Phantom System".
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It was basically a NES, in a Atari 7800 body, and with 2 Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controllers.
It had AV out, and came with a light gun.
I've had one in my hands, it was awesome, really. Much, much better than ANY official console.
Best game library + best case design + most modern controllers avaible at the time + cheap = Killing combo.

There was even a TV commercial, lol. xD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05ewuUYfSaU
"Phantom System, staying home was never this exciting." Epic. xD

However, if that sounded interesting, you should try to read about Sega and TecToy. I can GUARANTEE it will blow your mind. xD

Edited by Acrof, Nov 7 2013, 05:14 AM.
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Cabanon
Elite
i dont see any product on the game cartridge, how weird is that.
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Acrof
Newbie
Cabanon
Nov 7 2013, 09:19 AM
i dont see any product on the game cartridge, how weird is that.
You mean on the Phantom System commercial?

Gradiente made their own clone cartridges to go with the Phantom System, all the plastic cases in black (I suppose it's to match the color of the console) and rounded top. The games were the same from the NES, but with different labels and names on them.

The one showing in the commercial was ghostbusters:
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Compare it to the original:
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Rad Racer:
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Became Speed Racer. Lol xD
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bluedogrulez
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Acrof--This is a great topic. I added information to your first post that you had provided in the Modding thread. I hope you don't mind . . . it is really interesting stuff!!

Can you just clarify for me so I am 100% sure . . . your Brazilian N64 can play both NTSC-U (American) and PAL region games?
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Acrof
Newbie
I'm glad you guys like it. xD I don't mind the moving at all.

To be honest, I don't know, I'm sure it can play NTSC games (american games), but I've never tried any PAL games on it, they're rare around here. I belive that, if they have the same physical shape (or if you use an adapter), they should work, or so I've heard.

As far as I know, the following games don't work on the brazilian console:
Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sin and Punishiment, Bangaioh and Hey You Pikachu!.

As these consoles output video in PAL-M, I wouldn't be surprised if it had a different video chip from the rest.
Maybe it can output RGB natively. :rollseyes:
Now that would be awesome. xD


Ah!
Remember when I told you that Gradiente used to make awesome stuff back in the 80s?
This is the Gradiente System One:
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And Master 200 speakers:
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This was the kind of stuff you could buy from them. :w00t:
Edited by Acrof, Nov 7 2013, 02:19 PM.
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Nuno
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Show de bola! Arcof ;)

I had no idea about that. As both a collector and a player I've been planing on getting me a NTCS console for some time, but a system and components with portuguese writings on them? I've got to get me one of those Gradiente systems!

They call the jumper pack just "Jumper" on the label and they say not to remove the label while the stickers usually say not the remove the pack from the system.

And I find "Produzido no pólo industrial de Manaus" oddly specific" ;)

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Acrof
Newbie
Well, it does say not to remove the jumper pak from the console.
You were lucky to see that sticker as most of the consoles have used an Expansion Pak at some point, losing that sticker forever. My N64 has never used one of those.

Oh, another thing that you would like to know.
Here, the "Funtastic" colored N64s are not named after their color names.
Like, mine would be called something like clear black, or smoke, anywhere else in the world, but here, they're all named after FLAVOURS! :P
The Funtastics Series is called "Multi-Sabores" here, wich really translate into "Multi Flavours".

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Mine would be the "Jabuticaba", a fruit native of Brazil.
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The purple one is called "Uva", wich translates to "Grape".

The light blue is called "Anis" , wich you should know as "Anise".

The green one is the "Kiwi", you all know what it is. xD

The orange one is the "Tangerina", wich is the portuguese of "Tangerine".

The pink one is the "Cereja", or, as you call it, "Cherry".


Gonna post pics of the box of my console soon. ;)


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Acrof
Newbie
Well here they are, tried to edit the first post, but there were too many images on it already and it didn't let me add these. xD

Some shots of the box:

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"Multi Sabores" written in the top right corner. "Jabuticaba color" written in the middle bottom.


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Lots of stuff here, would take too much time to translate.


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"For sale and use only in Brazil" lol


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"Informations about connections"
*shows how to connect AV cables*
"Stereo AV cable sold separetely" :rollseyes:


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Top and bottom of the box are the same.


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Right side.


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Left side.
Shows the official accessories, and the other colors of the series.
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scooter77
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New Zealand Member
That is so cool, i want a Kiwi one :w00t:
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
-Albert Einstein

PAL Collection: 243/243
NTSC-U only Exclusives: 50/50
NTSC-U / NTSC-J Exclusives: 11/11
NTSC-J only Exclusives: 85/85
64dd 0/9

Only 9 to go.
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Cabanon
Elite
Acrof
Nov 7 2013, 11:08 AM
Cabanon
Nov 7 2013, 09:19 AM
i dont see any product on the game cartridge, how weird is that.
You mean on the Phantom System commercial?
no I meant the N64 cartridge.
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bluedogrulez
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@Cabanon: Under the "Nintendo" white/red logo, the word "PLAYTRONIC" or "GRADIENTE" is on the label in the above cart pics.
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flmadness
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not the droid you're looking for
scooter77
Nov 8 2013, 12:44 PM
That is so cool, i want a Kiwi one :w00t:
x2
awesome!
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Acrof
Newbie
We were lucky when we consider the limited editions we got over here.

TecToy, for example, imported the japanese white and skeleton Sega Saturn over here. And kept the japanese boot animation. 8)
The best part is:
1-Fully compatible with american games.
2-Cheap.

Just to tease a little:
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:P
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Cabanon
Elite
bluedogrulez
Nov 8 2013, 03:54 PM
@Cabanon: Under the "Nintendo" white/red logo, the word "PLAYTRONIC" or "GRADIENTE" is on the label in the above cart pics.
this is not what I meant either

there's no NUS-NSME-BRA on Mario 64
there's no NUS-NP3E-BRA on Pokemon Stadium 2

thinking of it, E (for English) wouldnt be the proper letter for Brazil, it could be P (for Portuguese) but since there's no such code on the cart, there's no way to prove it, unless this code is present on the box's flaps
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bluedogrulez
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Oh, you were talking about the lack of any product code...gotcha now. That is weird.

Btw, does anyone else suspect this was all a rouse to get around Brazilian trade restrictions (i.e., retailers could only sell electronics marketed by Brazilian companies)?
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Acrof
Newbie
Nah, they could sell imported stuff at that time.

That's why the PS1 prevailed over here too, even if it wasn't officially supported here.


Some retailers though, marketed the PS2 and the PS3 as "DVD Players", to pay lower taxes and rise their profits.
As both consoles can play DVDs, it wasn't illegal. lol


Quote:
 
there's no NUS-NSME-BRA on Mario 64
there's no NUS-NP3E-BRA on Pokemon Stadium 2

thinking of it, E (for English) wouldnt be the proper letter for Brazil, it could be P (for Portuguese) but since there's no such code on the cart, there's no way to prove it, unless this code is present on the box's flaps

Ah, got it now.

So the carts over there have like, a model, like the console and accessories. xD

I suspect it wouldn't have the P letter either, as the games are still in English, I would expect a B or BR. xD

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Acrof
Newbie
Who's curious to take a look at the insides? :P


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Acrof
Newbie
Well, it looks like it has one those video chips that are harder to mod to RGB, so sad. xD

I wonder if it's possible to "revert" it to NTSC, I don't really like it being a PAL-M unit, this standard is known for having low fidelity with colors... Most TVs nowadays work with anything you throw at them anyways.

Or maybe I should just buy a new motherboard (NTSC-U), with an easier to mod video chip? Hmmm... :eh:
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clarky_n64
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Modding Monster
To make it like US console just change the PIF (M)-NUS chip for one that comes from a US or JPN console PIF-NUS (I think). You shouldn't need to change the oscillating clock as it's already running at the right speed for NTSC format.

Interestingly, that is first time I've ever seen an N64 with a PIF(M) chip on it, the (M) obviously meaning PAL-M.

Thanks for sharing your pics :yeah:
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Acrof
Newbie
clarky_n64
Nov 12 2013, 03:07 AM
To make it like US console just change the PIF (M)-NUS chip for one that comes from a US or JPN console PIF-NUS (I think). You shouldn't need to change the oscillating clock as it's already running at the right speed for NTSC format.

Interestingly, that is first time I've ever seen an N64 with a PIF(M) chip on it, the (M) obviously meaning PAL-M.

Thanks for sharing your pics :yeah:
As I said before, PAL-M works at 60hz, that's why the oscillating clock is the same as the NTSC.

Well, I guess is still easier to replace the whole motherboard then. As we don't come across NTSC-U consoles here that often. xD

The main reason I want a NTSC unit isn't even the colors, but because my Pokemon Stadium displays an unusual behavior when you go to the GB Tower to run a Gameboy game...

The screen is displayed more to the right, so it's not correctly centered. And that pisses me off as I like to play gameboy games on TV, using my N64. I dunno if that's a problem related to the PAL-M console, or if it's related to the latest PCB designs no matter the area.

And I know the problem isn't on the cartridge, as I've seen it running in a NTSC console before, and the screen was perfectly aligned on the GB Tower.
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kogumelow
Newbie
Hey guys, I am also from Brazil and did some research around the N64 and I would like to complete some info given in this topic.

GRADIENTE did make national version of the N64, but it got on the market late and we alredy had tons of N64's of NTSC modded to M-PAL. To do this mod it's very simple, just take an NTSC console, change the crystal to the corresponding frequency and change the voltage on one of the pins of the U8 chips (sorry, I am not at home and can't remember what pin is it). It's important to say NTSC consoles and M-PAL ones have the SAME PIF, I may post some pics.

One question I saw on the topics was: Do the N64 run both PAL and NTSC games. I own NTSC games, PAL games and a brazilian N64. The answer is, NO, the brazilian version of the consoles runs JUST NTSC games, sadly.

Sadly, as far as I know, the brasilian version of the N64 has just the rev-1, that means you can't do any serius trimming on the boards or anything. Thta is only important if you are interested in portables.

Hope this adds some info to the topic. Thanks.
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Tyree_Cooper
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It's pretty cool that the Brazilian version was actually manufactured in Brazil :yeah:

I wonder if EVERYTHING of it was though, or just the plastic parts? What about the mobo and chips?
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Boomdiers
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Interesting Brazil nintendo 64
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My Nintendo 64 collection most of them are PAL and some NTSC
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FreoGuy
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So it plays NTSC Games and pal?
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Nillew
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FreoGuy
Feb 16 2014, 02:40 AM
So it plays NTSC Games and pal?
Only NTSC-US/BR... or using adapters. This I can't confirm now, I never used.

-----

@Acrof Legal :D ! Thanks for sharing this information and images. I'm also Brazilian :P
And I just knew N64 games and accessories. Had never seen the console.
Just another admirer of the best videogame of all time =D
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Martin64
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Acrof
Nov 11 2013, 02:16 PM
Well, it looks like it has one those video chips that are harder to mod to RGB, so sad. xD

I wonder if it's possible to "revert" it to NTSC, I don't really like it being a PAL-M unit, this standard is known for having low fidelity with colors... Most TVs nowadays work with anything you throw at them anyways.

Or maybe I should just buy a new motherboard (NTSC-U), with an easier to mod video chip? Hmmm... :eh:
Such amazing stuff, Acrof! Really interesting. The nearest I ever got to having 'exotic' Nintendo stuff was that I had a Hong Kong version of Ocarina of Time, fully-boxed. Got rid of it though, since I wanted the gold cartridge. As for your lamenting PAL - I wouldn't worry about it. I've heard that the colours are better on PAL and vice-versa. I think the truth is that, with most stuff - PAL is just better, higher resolution, and better colour reproduction (to the point where movie directors used to refer to NTSC as "Never The Same Colour"). About the only 'disadvantage' it had was it's frequency of 50Hz vs 60Hz.. but what you have is referred to as 'PAL60' over here (I'm from England). PAL colours, NTSC refresh frequency and resolution.

But with a lot of retro games, the extra resolution of PAL was not utilized, as they already optimized their engine as much as they could for NTSC. Rendering those extra hundred lines of pixels was often out of the question, especially if they wanted to keep the speed up. Many games were even slower with borders. Rareware were amazing on the N64 with their PAL conversions. Nintendo were initially total crap, but started getting better (PAL Mario 64 has big borders and is slow, Zelda has no borders, but is slow etc). Thus, many PAL games up to (and not including) the start of the HD era were shadows of their NTSC selves. The further you go back, the worse it gets. I've never personally-seen a PAL-optimized game from the 8-bit era, and have only noticed a few from the 16-bit era which are speed-corrected (but none that are full-screen).

As for whether to get a new motherboard for your console - don't bother. If you're going to do that, then just buy an NTSC console. I have two myself (one American launch N64, and one Japanese gold edition), and I reside in good old PAL50 land! If I can get an NTSC N64 - you definitely can. That way you don't have to defile your lovely Brazilian console. A regular NTSC N64 of no particular rarity/merit, unboxed, shouldn't cost you a great deal. But why bother? Your console already runs American games, yes? I dare say you would notice no tangible difference between PAL60 (or 'PAL-M' as you call it) and NTSC. Both the same resolution (525 lines), same refresh rate. PAL60 just has 'better' colours, but I'm sure the difference would be null on a modern television.

I'm pretty sure what happened with your N64 is that it was not made in Brazil, but merely assembled there by Gradiente so that they could apply their own stickers and various other signage on the console and included documentation. They're probably just regular NTSC machines at heart, thus running American games. I wonder, would your actual Brazilian cartridges work in my NTSC consoles? I bet they would.

Trivia: When the Dreamcast launched in Europe, is was the first console to get around the PAL 'barrier' (borders, 17% slower) via a 60Hz mode built into the PAL console. This mode was actually 'PAL60', and not NTSC. The PAL PS2 included a similar mode, but this was actually NTSC and not PAL60. This is why hardly any PAL PS2 games have the 60Hz feature, as it meant any FMVs had to be stored twice on the disc, as the colour-encoding for PAL and NTSC is a primary difference. By going with PAL60 instead of NTSC, there were not many Dreamcast games that didn't offer a 60Hz mode.
Edited by Martin64, Apr 17 2014, 06:05 PM.
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brun0ls
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I had one of these, I'm also brazilian :D
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