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What if the N64 was disk based?; Alternative reality!
Topic Started: Dec 12 2016, 04:54 PM (544 Views)
Wildfiremicro
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I think this will make for a interesting discussion. What if the N64 was disk based like the PlayStation?
We are all mad here
Rip and tear until it's done
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Shellshocker18
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The Shockmaster
Well its hard to say how much would have changed back then if both consoles used disks, and I don't know much about each systems architecture outside of the media format, But i do know that if the n64 had used disks, games like Super Mario 64 and Body Harvest may have had terrible loading issues that could have made the games tedious to play. Just imagine Mario 64 with load times. If it was still just as difficult to develop for then third parties would have still preferred PlayStation so the n64 would have turned out the same just with worse loading times. Of course it's all history now and I'm glad the n64 and ps1 were so different.
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stinger9142
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Endure and survive...
Such a foreign concept :lol: I have gotten more used to load times over the years, but the cartridge format was honestly part of the charm for the 64 in my eyes :yeah:
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DABOMBEVERYPLAY
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I'm sure there's an introduction thread somewhere but I couldn't be :cussfit:ed to go look for it so hi.

Anyway, the N64, and Nintendo as a whole, would be much much better off. If we're talking CDs here and not those bizzare Commodore-esque N64DD.. things, then Square-Enix doesn't get annoyed at Nintendo and doesn't go to Sony, for one. The Playstations FF games are N64 classics instead.

Who knows what other third party companies develop for Nintendo instead.. Could Metal Gear've been an N64 classic?

Also, certain games would be much much better with more room to ft stuff in.. There could've been 32 Mario 64 courses AND Luigi co-op, No Mercy would have in-ring entrances among other things. No expansion pak need for DK64 or Majora's Mask..

Loading is an issue here but it was also a major issue everyone else ran into so no big deal.
Favorite Game: Super Mario 64

Favorite Level: Hazy Maze Cave

Least Favorite Level: Dire, Dire Docks
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RLJA42
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DABOMBEVERYPLAY
Dec 31 2016, 07:21 PM
I'm sure there's an introduction thread somewhere but I couldn't be :cussfit:ed to go look for it so hi.

Anyway, the N64, and Nintendo as a whole, would be much much better off. If we're talking CDs here and not those bizzare Commodore-esque N64DD.. things, then Square-Enix doesn't get annoyed at Nintendo and doesn't go to Sony, for one. The Playstations FF games are N64 classics instead.

Who knows what other third party companies develop for Nintendo instead.. Could Metal Gear've been an N64 classic?

Also, certain games would be much much better with more room to ft stuff in.. There could've been 32 Mario 64 courses AND Luigi co-op, No Mercy would have in-ring entrances among other things. No expansion pak need for DK64 or Majora's Mask..

Loading is an issue here but it was also a major issue everyone else ran into so no big deal.
But you have to keep in mind, the expansive levels in Super Mario 64 would not have been possible. Nor would slopes and terrain changes, which the PS1 couldn't handle (Just look at the Spyro games- everything is flat!) That's just my opinion. I think the N64 would've been worse off with discs. All my N64 carts still work fine today, some twenty years later. Ask a PS1 owner how many of his discs are too scratched to play anymore...
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Vaettur
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RLJA42
Sep 12 2017, 04:41 PM
But you have to keep in mind, the expansive levels in Super Mario 64 would not have been possible. Nor would slopes and terrain changes, which the PS1 couldn't handle (Just look at the Spyro games- everything is flat!)
I don't think that has much(if anything at all) to do with the media, and more with PSX's internal hardware.


DABOMBEVERYPLAY is right. Of course the N64 was the better one hardware-wise, but the cartridge format drew a huge limit for it's developers, hence why many hopped over to Sony.

Nintendo can claim anything they want, but anyone who knows Nintendo and their (legal) history knows that the choice was 95% out of fear of piracy/copyright infringement (only recently pirated N64 games are popping up, it took 20 years so good job on that, Nintendo!).


Of course, I love the way the N64 was/is and wouldn't want it any other way, but that's mostly nostalgia talking there.
Retrospectively, from a business point of view, it's most definitely a missed chance.
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Kamikaze
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Well.. Truth be told, if the N64 was disk based both the CDi and Playstation wouldn't have existed, Square Enix would've made the classic Fin Fantasy 7 thru (...) 12 (?) for Nintendo and what not...

But I also see a downside. By Nintendo being a relatively small gaming company saleswise, the have to thinm of new selling points for there consoles. If the N64 was diskbased, Nintendo probably would've been much bigger, so there is less need for inovation, so no Wii, WiiU and Switch.
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Vaettur
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I'm pretty sure the CDi and (SNES + Sony) Playstation is a chapter before that, before Nintendo even started development on the 64.

I don't think the N64 being disk-based or not has any relation to the "innovation" of the Wii and all following products.

The GC was pretty much on par with the other systems of it's generation, that being the PS2, Xbox and DC.
It's the fact that Nintendo didn't choose to go technologically forward with it's new console (Wii) and instead chose for a new way of playing games, reaching a totally new (and totally different) type of audience. The Wii's success is not thanks to it's technology and top notch games, but because grandma and friends bought one too. The WiiU was pretty much a flop. It's now Switch's turn...

By always being technologically a generation behind (since the Wii), they're making the same mistake as not using disks for the N64. All Xbox and PS consoles share similar architecture, with (apart from some exclusive titles) games released on both systems. But not on Nintendo's consoles, since it's inferior in a technological aspect (or they get released a generation too late, e.g. Skyrim, Batman).

Don't misunderstand me, I love Nintendo and their innovation. I'm just saying that it's possible to be innovative AND technically on par with it's generation (something that could have saved the WiiU). A missed chance.


My apologies for the off-topic banter. :whistle:
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Retro Junkie
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There is no spoon.
Cartridges! I love my carts. I would rather have a system built around cart based gaming than a disc any day. It is not out of nostalgia, for me, it is out of preference for my gaming. I am so happy that Nintendo stuck to their guns and gave us the beloved N64 in all its glory. It set the standard for present day 3D world gameplay. Its innovation changed the way we game.

Presently technology has out ran the disc media and at some point I believe that they will either have to return to some form of flash cart based gaming, digital download, or cloud based games. That is why consoles have that hard drive built in, it can't access the needed code fast enough from the disc drive to prevent heavy load times.
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Shellshocker18
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I'm not one for getting into 20 year old console war arguments. Not that this question is always about that, but when people bring up cartridges being the N64's downfall it bores me because it's such a dead horse, and it annoys me because it doesn't matter anymore. I get that at the time the decision cost Nintendo a lot of good 3rd party support leading to bad game droughts and some games used smaller cartridges even if they would have benefited from more storage, but it's 2017 so I think it's a pointless argument now.

While discs may have been more profitable for Nintendo to try, cartridges kept the N64 unique that generation which is good for historical value and the few unique experiences N64 could only offer in those first 2-3 years. Even something simple like Mischief Makers, a game with a speedrun based ranking system, benefited from the instant load times for replaying levels. That's not including all the big game worlds with little to no loading and the advanced platform physics in Mario 64 and dozens of other examples. I'm not saying it was a perfect console but cartridges are part of it's identity and that's all that really matters now.
Edited by Shellshocker18, Sep 13 2017, 10:26 PM.
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Kamikaze
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Vaettur
Sep 13 2017, 03:17 PM
I'm pretty sure the CDi and (SNES + Sony) Playstation is a chapter before that, before Nintendo even started development on the 64.

I don't think the N64 being disk-based or not has any relation to the "innovation" of the Wii and all following products.

The GC was pretty much on par with the other systems of it's generation, that being the PS2, Xbox and DC.
It's the fact that Nintendo didn't choose to go technologically forward with it's new console (Wii) and instead chose for a new way of playing games, reaching a totally new (and totally different) type of audience. The Wii's success is not thanks to it's technology and top notch games, but because grandma and friends bought one too. The WiiU was pretty much a flop. It's now Switch's turn...

By always being technologically a generation behind (since the Wii), they're making the same mistake as not using disks for the N64. All Xbox and PS consoles share similar architecture, with (apart from some exclusive titles) games released on both systems. But not on Nintendo's consoles, since it's inferior in a technological aspect (or they get released a generation too late, e.g. Skyrim, Batman).

Don't misunderstand me, I love Nintendo and their innovation. I'm just saying that it's possible to be innovative AND technically on par with it's generation (something that could have saved the WiiU). A missed chance.


My apologies for the off-topic banter. :whistle:
Very true. Sorry for my misunderstanding. It was late at night here :P

But still I feel like going properly disk based (and not so much GC mini disk) might have gotten the system more third party support in genres other than racing. When a developer releases stuff for console X, they seem to be kind of loyal as long as hardware allows them to. See Square with Nintendo (pre-64), Rare with N64. This support could, maybe, in the longer run have provided the Wii and WiiU with some more quality support. Not to bash Nintendo at all, but besides the first party games, it does not have a whole lot going for it imho.

Also, making the switch to disk based earlier on could have changed Nintendo its mindset on being on par with tech, as you mention. Getting its focus more on the teh part instead of just their own games that need to run on the system. It's really far fetched in some way, but maybe it could've made them more in competition with the rest, instead of... Too little, too late (by lack of a better word).
Downside again, Nintendo being mainstream may as well kill them, when all games release on the system and the "special" first party games suddenly are not that special anymore.
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Retro Junkie
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There is no spoon.
Loving my Ridge Racer 64. On a cart, who would have thought? Only The N64 could have accomplished that piece of work. I cherished that from day one, back in the day. Couldn't wait to get my hands on the game. And it instantly became my favorite version of the game. Brought to me by Nintendo going against the grain of a gaming generation basing the N64 on carts, thumbing their nose at the disc.
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mikezelot
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Star Wolfs Worst Nightmare
Sony would have lost square enix and FFVII would be on the 64. Without FFVII on the ps1 the saturn would have remained dominant in Japan with panzer dragoon saga filling the void. The whole appeal of Sony was that it could take 3rd party games from Nintendo because of them going to cartridge. With Sony struggling in the market they would have dropped out leaving the n64 (top seller mostly in the us) the sega saturn ( top seller in Japan and South America) and 3do (just enough sales to go another generation taking a lot of sonys would be audience)
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"Im an elephant" - Conker
Both the n64 and the ps4 have 64 bit processors. Now I'm not saying the 64 could run crysis at 60 fps but I'm not saying it couldn't.
115 games
2 consoles
6 controllers
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