What if Nintendo used CDs for the N64 instead of cartridges?

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#1 Posted by GSJones1994 (314 posts) -

The N64 was a great console during it's time, it may have been lacking 3rd party support, but it still had a good library, 3rd party or not. The N64, like it's nemesis, the Sega Saturn lost in it's generation to Sony's new PlayStation, which dominated the market with heaping 3rd party support and more. The N64 didn't use CDs as it's format for games because former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi thought that CDs were the works of Satan. But what would have happened if Nintendo just got with the times and just used CDs for the N64? They probably would have recieved the 3rd party support that they have been missing, Squaresoft would have stayed with them, and Nintendo today would have been in better shape then they are now. That's my piece on it. What are your thoughts? What else do you think would have happened if Nintendo used CDs for the N64? Please let me know. Thanks!

#2 Posted by Exceed20XX (1030 posts) -

It likely would've had more solid ports for starters. Given that the carts limited space they wouldn't have needed to compress things so so heavily. The RE2 debate would've been in the N64's court hands down potentially.

#3 Posted by GSJones1994 (314 posts) -

It likely would've had more solid ports for starters. Given that the carts limited space they wouldn't have needed to compress things so so heavily. The RE2 debate would've been in the N64's court hands down potentially.

Exceed20XX
The RE2 port on N64 was good. I've been hearing it's the best version.
#4 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16744 posts) -
Well it would have gotten Final Fantasy VII.
#5 Posted by GSJones1994 (314 posts) -
Well it would have gotten Final Fantasy VII.AmazonTreeBoa
Yes, that's what I meant by "Squaresoft would have stayed with them".
#6 Posted by Domino_slayer (763 posts) -
  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

#7 Posted by Exceed20XX (1030 posts) -

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

Domino_slayer

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

#8 Posted by SolidTy (42113 posts) -

[QUOTE="Domino_slayer"]

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

Exceed20XX

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

We didn't get a Street Fighter N64 or Metroid 64 either. :(

#9 Posted by Jag85 (4354 posts) -

Not sure how much of an impact a CD-based N64 would have had in the Western world, but it would have made a big difference in Japan, where it sold quite poorly and came third place behind the Saturn.

The CD-ROM format had become standard in the Japanese gaming market ever since the PC Engine in the late 80s, so it was only natural that Japanese audiences reacted even more negatively against the N64's cartridge format than Western audiences did.

Having a CD format would have given the N64 a lead over the Saturn in Japan, though this might have led to Sega exiting the hardware business even before they had a chance to create the Dreamcast.

#10 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

[QUOTE="Domino_slayer"]

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

Exceed20XX

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

 

Ridge Racer 64 says hello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thSYlZmQJow

 

It was a pretty good port with better graphics and some new stuff and was ported over by Nintendo themselves.

#11 Posted by nintendoboy16 (26115 posts) -

[QUOTE="Domino_slayer"]

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

Exceed20XX

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

Namco did throw out a couple things for N64: Ridge Racer and Namco Museum.
#12 Posted by logicalfrank (1641 posts) -

The biggest thing would have been RPGs, most notably Square RPGs, might have made it over to N64 had it used some higher capacity optical format. I think this would have been a boon for Nintendo and big hit to Sony but you can only speculate.

#13 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

[QUOTE="Exceed20XX"]

[QUOTE="Domino_slayer"]

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

SolidTy

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

We didn't get a Street Fighter N64 or Metroid 64 either. :(

 

SFIII was planned for 64DD but never happened due to 64DD being canned/released only in Japan/flopping hard.

Metroid 64 was never in development tho.

They probably didn't yet know what form the series should take back then. (untill settling for the "exploration FPS" form with Prime on GC)

#14 Posted by SolidTy (42113 posts) -

[QUOTE="SolidTy"]

[QUOTE="Exceed20XX"]

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

nameless12345

We didn't get a Street Fighter N64 or Metroid 64 either. :(

 

SFIII was planned for 64DD but never happened due to 64DD being canned/released only in Japan/flopping hard.

Metroid 64 was never in development tho.

They probably didn't yet know what form the series should take back then. (untill settling for the "exploration FPS" form with Prime on GC)

The end result sucked for fans of Metroid and Street Fighter like myself, and entire gaming generation is a long time of suffering, but other misses like Final Fantasy hurt as well. I know the why's and the history, but it sucked.

#15 Posted by Admiral-lemnant (150 posts) -

It wouldn't have changed anything, it still would have had a bad reputation for third-parties, and exclusing the use of carts, the way the system was made it still would have had most of the same problems.

#16 Posted by Exceed20XX (1030 posts) -

[QUOTE="Exceed20XX"]

[QUOTE="Domino_slayer"]

  • N64 would no longer have been able to price match Saturn & PS1 at launch, would've been $50-$100 more expensive due to additional CD drive.
  • Graphics would've been pretty much the same unless they increased the texture cache, which was the actual limiting factor.
  • Music would've been better in many circumstances.
  • FMV would've been better (this, and music are the only things which actually take up space).
  • Western 3rd party support would've increased (not so much Japanese support though IMO, as Japanese companies hated Nintendo due to their unfair business practices and had been desperately searching for a way to escape Nintendo for years by the time the PS1 had taken off).
  • Software would've been cheaper.
  • Game's would've had load times
  • I think some games with large areas would've had to be broken down into separate sections to load as opposed to being played straight from cartridge.

A lot of tradeoffs there but I think the cheaper software + extra 3rd party support would've helped the system reach better success, it still would've been crushed by the PS1 though, Nintendo had made too many enemies, Namco had refused to support any Nintendo console during that time for instance.

nintendoboy16

Some good points, I never actually noticed that I never saw a Namco game on the N64.

Namco did throw out a couple things for N64: Ridge Racer and Namco Museum.

Never saw them. Must've went completely under my radio at the time. you learn something new every day.

#17 Posted by NodakJo2010 (1060 posts) -

If nintendo and sony combined....dear lord think of the possibilities, but at the same time...I don't think we would've had the great Sony exclusives as we do today. I think nintendo dismissing Sony's CD add on was good for gaming in general.

#18 Posted by Exceed20XX (1030 posts) -

If nintendo and sony combined....dear lord think of the possibilities, but at the same time...I don't think we would've had the great Sony exclusives as we do today. I think nintendo dismissing Sony's CD add on was good for gaming in general.

NodakJo2010

Forever a mystery. I also wonder what would've happened if Sega would've partnered with somebody after their hardware departure. A Nintendo/Sega team could've been insane given how creative the two sides can be.

#19 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

[QUOTE="nameless12345"]

[QUOTE="SolidTy"]

We didn't get a Street Fighter N64 or Metroid 64 either. :(

SolidTy

 

SFIII was planned for 64DD but never happened due to 64DD being canned/released only in Japan/flopping hard.

Metroid 64 was never in development tho.

They probably didn't yet know what form the series should take back then. (untill settling for the "exploration FPS" form with Prime on GC)

The end result sucked for fans of Metroid and Street Fighter like myself, and entire gaming generation is a long time of suffering, but other misses like Final Fantasy hurt as well. I know the why's and the history, but it sucked.

 

I think Metroid was never really that "big" Nintendo franchise.

It was the most popular in the US, but still limited in popularity compared to Mario and Zelda.

So of course, those series had the priority.

The N64 pad was not really good for fighters either altho I agree that the system could have gotten more quality fighters.

#20 Posted by Megavideogamer (5279 posts) -

The total number of Nintendo 64 games released would have been greater than 425 or so. The nintendo 64 had the smallest game library. With the Use of CD's the game library would have been at least greater than it was.

#21 Posted by Admiral-lemnant (150 posts) -

The total number of Nintendo 64 games released would have been greater than 425 or so. The nintendo 64 had the smallest game library. With the Use of CD's the game library would have been at least greater than it was.

Megavideogamer

 

The N64 had the smallest game library? The Jaguar had under 75 games.

#22 Posted by logicalfrank (1641 posts) -

[QUOTE="Megavideogamer"]

The total number of Nintendo 64 games released would have been greater than 425 or so. The nintendo 64 had the smallest game library. With the Use of CD's the game library would have been at least greater than it was.

Admiral-lemnant

 

The N64 had the smallest game library? The Jaguar had under 75 games.

 

Do the math!

#23 Posted by Admiral-lemnant (150 posts) -

[QUOTE="Admiral-lemnant"]

[QUOTE="Megavideogamer"]

The total number of Nintendo 64 games released would have been greater than 425 or so. The nintendo 64 had the smallest game library. With the Use of CD's the game library would have been at least greater than it was.

logicalfrank

 

The N64 had the smallest game library? The Jaguar had under 75 games.

 

Do the math!

 

Lol.

#24 Posted by Domino_slayer (763 posts) -

Ridge Racer 64 says hello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thSYlZmQJow

It was a pretty good port with better graphics and some new stuff and was ported over by Nintendo themselves.nameless12345

Exactly, Ridge Racer 64 was made by Nintendo, and published by Nintendo, Namco had literally nothing to do with it, they just agreed to allow Nintendo to do all the work and then they took a share of the profits, it was the only way for Nintendo to get a Ridge Racer game.

Namco museum was made by American company Mass Media.

--------------------------------------

Nintendo of Japan made public apologies to many of these companies during the Gamecube era, and even gave them access to a lot of Nintendo's biggest IPs for a short period of time as a good will gesture, and to try to drum up more development interest.

#25 Posted by nintendoboy16 (26115 posts) -

[QUOTE="nameless12345"]Ridge Racer 64 says hello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thSYlZmQJow

It was a pretty good port with better graphics and some new stuff and was ported over by Nintendo themselves.Domino_slayer

Exactly, Ridge Racer 64 was made by Nintendo, and published by Nintendo, Namco had literally nothing to do with it, they just agreed to allow Nintendo to do all the work and then they took a share of the profits, it was the only way for Nintendo to get a Ridge Racer game.

Namco museum was made by American company Mass Media.

--------------------------------------

Nintendo of Japan made public apologies to many of these companies during the Gamecube era, and even gave them access to a lot of Nintendo's biggest IPs for a short period of time as a good will gesture, and to try to drum up more development interest.

Ridge Racer is STILL a Namco IP, is it not? No matter how little, they were still involved. Same deal with Namco Museum (Only Namco did publish this, did they not?), even IF it's a different developer (Mass Media, who also did the N64 port of Blizzard's Starcraft).

It's like not crediting Rockstar North (formerly DMADesign) for Manhunt 2 just because they weren't hands on like Rockstar London and Toronto, only oversaw the project.

Far as I'm concerned, Nintendo still does lend their IP's to other developers, Namco is even developing SSB4 with Sakurai.

#26 Posted by Domino_slayer (763 posts) -

Ridge Racer is STILL a Namco IP, is it not? No matter how little, they were still involved.nintendoboy16

This is irrelevant, Namco did not have anything to do with it, therefore they did not support the N64.

Namco may have hated Nintendo back in the day, but they are still a business, and business' don't turn down free money.

Heck Namco's bosses were probably grinning from ear to ear when Nintendo came crawling.

----------------------------------------

Business in Japan is still very focused on respect and honour, and Nintendo had been disrespecting, and ripping off all the major Japanese 3rd parties for years when Sony finally gave these companies a way out. The honest truth is that it was not in their best interest to support N64 whether the system was CD or not.

And even if you disregard all of the bad blood between these companies, look at Squaresoft, Sony threw utterly OBSCENE amounts of money behind the Final Fantasy series for Squaresoft, they gave Squaresoft the kind of exposure they never could've dreamed of during the SNES days, even had the N64 been a CD console there was simply finantially more reason to support Playstation.

#27 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

[QUOTE="nameless12345"]Ridge Racer 64 says hello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thSYlZmQJow

It was a pretty good port with better graphics and some new stuff and was ported over by Nintendo themselves.Domino_slayer

Exactly, Ridge Racer 64 was made by Nintendo, and published by Nintendo, Namco had literally nothing to do with it, they just agreed to allow Nintendo to do all the work and then they took a share of the profits, it was the only way for Nintendo to get a Ridge Racer game.

Namco museum was made by American company Mass Media.

--------------------------------------

Nintendo of Japan made public apologies to many of these companies during the Gamecube era, and even gave them access to a lot of Nintendo's biggest IPs for a short period of time as a good will gesture, and to try to drum up more development interest.

 

Giving Star Fox to Namco to develop SF Assault was a bad move tho.

That game was the downfall of that series.

#28 Posted by Domino_slayer (763 posts) -

Giving Star Fox to Namco to develop SF Assault was a bad move tho.

That game was the downfall of that series.nameless12345

I liked the multiplayer mode quite a bit back in the day but that was it.

I don't think we got much out of that deal in the end, I think most of the companies took advantage of it and released any old thing with a Nintendo characters face on it, what else was there, a Mario dance mat game? a Mario Baseball game I think, Can't remember much else.

Donkey Konga was pretty good for what it was I guess (though they kind of run it into the ground in the end)

Link cameoed in Soul Caliber, Mario was in SSX: On Tour etc.

#29 Posted by Stefan91x (256 posts) -

The only bad decision was when Nintendo sold the 64DD as an optional drive instead to build it directly into the system itself.

#30 Posted by LJSEXAY (1866 posts) -
They probably would have competed better. They lost some third party support with cartridge cost.
#31 Posted by PokeCrysis (44 posts) -
Not sure if I am the only one but the only reason I went for the N64 over the PS1 was because of the satisfying click noise of putting a cartridge in for the first time. I would have gone for the PS1 otherwise.