It's fascinating to follow Nintendo "Ultra 64" development history through NEXT Generation magazine

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#1 Edited by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

For those of you that don't remember much detail about a time when Nintendo was serious about processor and graphics technology, and the game industry was abuzz about all of it. This thread & these articles are for you. Yes, there's more of these I will post a bit later.

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#2 Posted by CrashNBurn281 (1574 posts) -

I loved the N64. Favorite console of that gen.

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#3 Posted by deactivated-5cf3bfcedc29b (776 posts) -

N64 was a great console for it's time, got mine with Zelda OOT

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#4 Posted by SecretPolice (35259 posts) -

My favorite "N" console. Got it with Zelda: OOT, Banjo & Kazooie, Diddy Kong Racing, Golden Eye and Mario Party. Four player split screen goodness back in the day. :D

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#5 Posted by commander (15373 posts) -

yeah the bit wars, kinda ended right there with n64, when it got obliterated by the 32 bit playstation.

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#6 Posted by GoldenElementXL (3137 posts) -

The N64 and Mario 64 was the last time I as totally blown away by gaming tech. The first time I used the Vive came close, but nothing beats moving Mario in a 3D space for the first time.

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#7 Posted by storm_of_swords (2799 posts) -

I love the N64 so much. The N64 is either my favorite or second favorite console of all time (it's hard to choose between the N64 and SNES).

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#8 Posted by VERTIGO47 (7101 posts) -

OMG!

I think I have that same exact magazine somewhere in my attic (along with my Nintendo Powers, EGM magazines) LOL!

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#9 Posted by 22Toothpicks (12546 posts) -

Haha, damn, the hype was real. "Hi-res HDTV" it says (look at those resolutions they list xD). In the mid '90s. On 4MB RAM. All for under $250! Love it.

I remember being super hyped for the N64 but I was a little too young to care about the tech details. 3D Mario is the only thing I cared about. It's really interesting to see Nintendo shoot for the moon with their hardware. My how the times have changed. This makes me wonder how the average gamer reacted to the speculation. Today's 4K hype is yesterday's BIT nonsense and this here's got SIXTY-FOUR of them. The powah.

Thanks for posting these!

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#10 Posted by QuadKnight (12916 posts) -

The hype was very real back then, amazing.

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#11 Edited by 22Toothpicks (12546 posts) -

@goldenelementxl said:

The N64 and Mario 64 was the last time I as totally blown away by gaming tech. The first time I used the Vive came close, but nothing beats moving Mario in a 3D space for the first time.

Yeah, Mario 64 was literally from another dimension. And that funny little joystick on the controller...what the hell? I can't imagine anything in the foreseeable future will blow my mind quite like it did.

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#12 Edited by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

Alright here's more, as promised.

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#13 Edited by AzatiS (14969 posts) -

Sadly N64 hardware was an epic fail and the start of downfall for Nintendo despite some of the best games ever on the sytem

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#14 Posted by BIOKILLER123 (901 posts) -

The N64 was apart of my childhood. The N64 is 20yrs old this year in Europe. Time files.

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#15 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

(continued)

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#16 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

@goldenelementxl said:

The N64 and Mario 64 was the last time I as totally blown away by gaming tech. The first time I used the Vive came close, but nothing beats moving Mario in a 3D space for the first time.

Yeah same here. I remember playing the Japanese version at a game store in Illinois and was totally blown away.

I imported a console and Mario 64 a week later, this was like early July 1996. I'd never seen anything like that game before. I then got a copy of Pilotwings 64 which was actually really good for a second game.

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#17 Posted by Pray_to_me (4041 posts) -

I remember reading through those specific magazines feverishly when I was in 7th grade. Never understood why the dropped the Ultra 64 name. Sounded cooler with a better logo.

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#18 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -
@Pray_to_me said:

I remember reading through those specific magazines feverishly when I was in 7th grade. Never understood why the dropped the Ultra 64 name. Sounded cooler with a better logo.

@Pray_to_me said:

I remember reading through those specific magazines feverishly when I was in 7th grade. Never understood why the dropped the Ultra 64 name. Sounded cooler with a better logo.

Totally agree about the Ultra 64 name & logo.

I remember looking at pictures of that Ultra64 Robotech game in GameFan magazine and my mind being blown.

Didn't realize they were CG renders on a Silicon Graphics workstation.

But even after Robotech: Crystal Dreams was shown running real-time on Nintendo 64, I prayed it would one day get released.

When it didn't, I started becoming interested in Nintendo's next console, Project Dolphin, and hoped against hope that GameTek (the game's developer) would continue work on Nintendo's more capable GameCube with easier development, far greater performance, much more RAM and optical disc media.

Sadly, it was just not meant to be.

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#19 Posted by GameboyTroy (9147 posts) -

@AzatiS said:

Sadly N64 hardware was an epic fail and the start of downfall for Nintendo despite some of the best games ever on the sytem

It using carts instead of cds held back the system from getting better 3rd party support and possibly having better games overall. But the N64 was still amazing though.

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#20 Edited by uninspiredcup (33322 posts) -

@commander said:

yeah the bit wars, kinda ended right there with n64, when it got obliterated by the 32 bit playstation.

Sony piggybacking Sega and Nintendo to learn and refine before striking was very good.

Nintendo was far too arrogant to see it coming, and by then, they could do nothing about it. Sega squandered it on FMV being the gameplay rather than subordinate to the gameplay, and pc gaming has never been good.

Sony may be huge assholes, but they were far more savvy at the time - they deserved to win

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#21 Posted by PimpHand_Gamer (2855 posts) -

100,000 polygons per second. Lol. PSone had over 300,000 and Voodoo 3 had 6 million

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#22 Posted by PSP107 (17469 posts) -

@GameboyTroy:

N64 was decent but it was no NES/SNES.

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#23 Posted by xantufrog (11359 posts) -

I never understood the obsession with the n64. There were a few hit games but you can say that for most

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#24 Edited by AzatiS (14969 posts) -

@GameboyTroy said:
@AzatiS said:

Sadly N64 hardware was an epic fail and the start of downfall for Nintendo despite some of the best games ever on the sytem

It using carts instead of cds held back the system from getting better 3rd party support and possibly having better games overall. But the N64 was still amazing though.

Wasnt only that .

Except the fact that N64 lost tremendous 3rd parties exclusives to PS1 because of cartridges let alone every other problem that rised because of that choice , it had serious hardware problems with its architecture in general which made things even worse.

N64 was far from amazing as a system. Was epicly good on papers. It got praised from gamers because of the far less pixelation on 3D game versus the other consoles in the market at the time but from developers stand point was a nightmare. Some of its games t made it shine , as hardware though was a disaster and after its official death even Nintendo admitted they did wrong with its architecture and that theyll care about hardware next time. And indeed they did , GAMECUBE was great.

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#25 Edited by GameboyTroy (9147 posts) -

@PSP107 said:

@GameboyTroy:

N64 was decent but it was no NES/SNES.

The SNES was really good. I wonder how the N64 would have been if it used discs.

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#26 Posted by PSP107 (17469 posts) -

@GameboyTroy: "I wonder how the N64 would have been if it used discs."

Not only that, a better controller would benefit greatly too. As a sports gamer, playing Madden and Live was atrocious on N64 controller.

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#27 Edited by Jag85 (13484 posts) -

@pimphand_gamer said:

100,000 polygons per second. Lol. PSone had over 300,000 and Voodoo 3 had 6 million

Those are not like-for-like comparisons...

In terms of textured polygon performance, for the year 1996:

  • N64 - 100,000 filtered, anti-aliased, Z-buffered, Gouraud-shaded polygons/sec, to 600,000 polygons/sec
  • PS1 - 90,000 Gouraud-shaded polygons/sec (no filtering, anti-aliasing or Z-buffering), to 200,000 polygons/sec
  • Voodoo - 90,000 filtered, anti-aliased, Z-buffered, Gouraud-shaded polygons/sec, to 400,000 polygons/sec

In terms of overall performance, for the year 1996:

N64 > Voodoo > PS1

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#28 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

The 3DO / Panasonic M2 was at one point, meant to launch in late 1996, with more polygon performance than any other consumer game platform, including Voodoo and N64. Only SEGA's high-end Model 3 arcade hardware was more powerful.

M2: 700,000 texture mapped, gouraud-shaded, z-buffered, lit, texture filtered, mip-mapped polygons/sec to 1,000,000 flat-shaded polygons/sec.

Sadly, after too many delays, Panasonic (Matsushita) canceled the M2 console.

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#29 Edited by Jag85 (13484 posts) -

@scrollinglayers said:

The 3DO / Panasonic M2 was at one point, meant to launch in late 1996, with more polygon performance than any other consumer game platform, including Voodoo and N64. Only SEGA's high-end Model 3 arcade hardware was more powerful.

M2: 700,000 texture mapped, gouraud-shaded, z-buffered, lit, texture filtered, mip-mapped polygons/sec to 1,000,000 flat-shaded polygons/sec.

From the specs I've seen, the 700,000 figure was for textured polygons, but not the other effects, which made it drop down to 300,000 to 500,000 polygons/sec. But that's still more powerful than any home system at the time (including the N64 and Voodoo).

In 1997, Konami adapted the M2 into the Konami M2 arcade system. While it couldn't compete with the Sega Model 3 (nothing could at the time), it seemed somewhat stronger than the Sega Model 2 (though that was a good few years old by that time).

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#30 Posted by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

Oh the days when Nintendo tried to offer tech and quality games. These days are long gone and forgotten.

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#31 Edited by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

@PSP107 said:

@GameboyTroy: "I wonder how the N64 would have been if it used discs."

Not only that, a better controller would benefit greatly too. As a sports gamer, playing Madden and Live was atrocious on N64 controller.

N64 is one of my favorite consoles, particularly for the games, but I have to agree that the use of the cartridge was a massive hindrance. I remember being 6-7 years old, and going over to my friend's house to play the Playstation, because I thought it had better GFX than my N64, purely because of the CGI cutscenes in all the games. When I saw all I got was some crappy pictures in the place of cinematics (for 3rd party titles), I was furious.

And yea, crap controller. That analog stick design might literally be the worst of all time. Thank god for emulation.

Also, that bit in the magazine about Nintendo working on a secret network technology allowing people to play games over cable sounded pretty funny.

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#32 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

@Jag85 said:
@scrollinglayers said:

The 3DO / Panasonic M2 was at one point, meant to launch in late 1996, with more polygon performance than any other consumer game platform, including Voodoo and N64. Only SEGA's high-end Model 3 arcade hardware was more powerful.

M2: 700,000 texture mapped, gouraud-shaded, z-buffered, lit, texture filtered, mip-mapped polygons/sec to 1,000,000 flat-shaded polygons/sec.

From the specs I've seen, the 700,000 figure was for textured polygons, but not the other effects, which made it drop down to 300,000 to 500,000 polygons/sec. But that's still more powerful than any home system at the time (including the N64 and Voodoo).

In 1997, Konami adapted the M2 into the Konami M2 arcade system. While it couldn't compete with the Sega Model 3 (nothing could at the time), it seemed somewhat stronger than the Sega Model 2 (though that was a good few years old by that time).

You're right on target Jag85 with those M2 polygon specs (300,000 ~ 500,000 will everything applied) and the Konami arcade system as well.

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#33 Posted by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

@scrollinglayers said:

The 3DO / Panasonic M2 was at one point, meant to launch in late 1996, with more polygon performance than any other consumer game platform, including Voodoo and N64. Only SEGA's high-end Model 3 arcade hardware was more powerful.

M2: 700,000 texture mapped, gouraud-shaded, z-buffered, lit, texture filtered, mip-mapped polygons/sec to 1,000,000 flat-shaded polygons/sec.

Sadly, after too many delays, Panasonic (Matsushita) canceled the M2 console.

lol nice controller on that picture, very organic

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#34 Posted by 22Toothpicks (12546 posts) -

@silversix_:

Ideal for penetrative gameplay immersion, of course.

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#35 Posted by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

oh geeez.

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#36 Posted by 22Toothpicks (12546 posts) -

@scrollinglayers said:

oh geeez.

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#37 Edited by Jag85 (13484 posts) -

@silversix_ said:
@scrollinglayers said:

The 3DO / Panasonic M2 was at one point, meant to launch in late 1996, with more polygon performance than any other consumer game platform, including Voodoo and N64. Only SEGA's high-end Model 3 arcade hardware was more powerful.

M2: 700,000 texture mapped, gouraud-shaded, z-buffered, lit, texture filtered, mip-mapped polygons/sec to 1,000,000 flat-shaded polygons/sec.

Sadly, after too many delays, Panasonic (Matsushita) canceled the M2 console.

lol nice controller on that picture, very organic

The M2 controller looks like, uh, Too Manly.

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#38 Edited by Bluudynuckles (55 posts) -

I missed that magazine , next generation was my favorite followed by game fan.

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#39 Posted by N64DD (11833 posts) -

@crashnburn281 said:

I loved the N64. Favorite console of that gen.

Same. If you want a more in depth overview of the system, try out the N64 Anthology book.

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#40 Posted by M8ingSeezun (2228 posts) -

A truly amazing yet under appreciated console. It played 3D much better. And far superior console than PS1, aside from not having enough support.

My favorite console of that generation. Played it more than my PS1.

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#41 Edited by uninspiredcup (33322 posts) -

Nintendo probably would have ultimately produced a better console had they not snubbed Sony. Arguably Sony was the superior console because of the support it got. Nintendo's arrogance really let them down.

Sega elitism well, at one point Tom Kalinske (Sega America) visited Sony and suggested they worked hand on a console, 100% for Sony games, 100% for Sega games. Hayao Nakayama hated the idea, rejecting it entirely.

While Sega scuttled to redesign the Satarn for 3d operations with developers grumbling at it's architecture and Nintendo sat out figuring out what to do, Sony was perfectly set up. Their console was cheaper, it was easier to develop for, had one of the most successful and expensive marketing campaigns with a killer lineup of games to top it all of.

The ultimate trojan horse. Really big.

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#42 Posted by Jag85 (13484 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

Nintendo probably would have ultimately produced a better console had they not snubbed Sony. Arguably Sony was the superior console because of the support it got. Nintendo's arrogance really let them down.

Sega elitism well, at one point Tom Kalinske (Sega America) visited Sony and suggested they worked hand on a console, 100% for Sony games, 100% for Sega games. Hayao Nakayama hated the idea, rejecting it entirely.

While Sega scuttled to redesign the Satarn for 3d operations with developers grumbling at it's architecture and Nintendo sat out figuring out what to do, Sony was perfectly set up. Their console was cheaper, it was easier to develop for, had one of the most successful and expensive marketing campaigns with a killer lineup of games to top it all of.

Actually, the Nintendo PlayStation that Sony worked on was weaker than the Sega CD:

Super NES CD-ROM

The hardware design that would eventually become the Sony PlayStation was primarily inspired by the Sega Model 1 arcade system:

How Virtua Fighter Saved PlayStation’s Bacon

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#43 Posted by storm_of_swords (2799 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:
@PSP107 said:

@GameboyTroy: "I wonder how the N64 would have been if it used discs."

Not only that, a better controller would benefit greatly too. As a sports gamer, playing Madden and Live was atrocious on N64 controller.

N64 is one of my favorite consoles, particularly for the games, but I have to agree that the use of the cartridge was a massive hindrance. I remember being 6-7 years old, and going over to my friend's house to play the Playstation, because I thought it had better GFX than my N64, purely because of the CGI cutscenes in all the games. When I saw all I got was some crappy pictures in the place of cinematics (for 3rd party titles), I was furious.

While I understand that using cartridges ultimately hurt Nintendo because of the higher prices and 3rd party support that they lost over it, I must say that personally, I was happy that the N64 used cartridges. I hated the long loading screens on my Playstation and I loved that I didn't have to deal with long loading screens on my N64. Also, cartridges have character and there is something that I just love about putting a cartridge in a console and feeling that click before powering it up; whereas discs are just boring.

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#44 Edited by uninspiredcup (33322 posts) -

@Jag85 said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Nintendo probably would have ultimately produced a better console had they not snubbed Sony. Arguably Sony was the superior console because of the support it got. Nintendo's arrogance really let them down.

Sega elitism well, at one point Tom Kalinske (Sega America) visited Sony and suggested they worked hand on a console, 100% for Sony games, 100% for Sega games. Hayao Nakayama hated the idea, rejecting it entirely.

While Sega scuttled to redesign the Satarn for 3d operations with developers grumbling at it's architecture and Nintendo sat out figuring out what to do, Sony was perfectly set up. Their console was cheaper, it was easier to develop for, had one of the most successful and expensive marketing campaigns with a killer lineup of games to top it all of.

Actually, the Nintendo PlayStation that Sony worked on was weaker than the Sega CD:

Power alone doesn't make a good console, the 3DO was powerful, the Jaguar boasting about it's 64 bit - do the math, one being unreasonably expensive and the both showing a paltry of offerings.

The Playstation as a console was a success for it's accessibility to be developed for, marketing and price, not it's solely power, although 32 bit as (deemed real not 32X) a whole, was part of the hype. The Nintendo 64 games looked better, and Saturn constantly touted it's untapped potential, but it meant little. Cartridges were a pain in the ass, expensive and many a third party developer had no chance, or appeal of dealing with the Saturns unwelcoming architecture. Essentially Sony had them all. By this time as well Nintendo (with it's more powerful console) was late to the race with barely any software.

Hypothetically, the console above, though weaker than a N64, designed primarily with 2D in mind, could arguably have been more successful under Sony's tutelage, supporting a better library of titles. It also would have mostly likely been cheaper as an add-on item. The PlayStation it's-self, already being weaker when it came to 3D made no odds - it was regarded as the better console. And generally still is by and large.

Nintendo could have flourished far more than it did, and Sega could potentially have been saved from disaster. They were punished, and punished greatly.

@Jag85 said:
tation that Sony worked on was weaker than the Sega CD:

Super NES CD-ROM

The hardware design that would eventually become the Sony PlayStation was primarily inspired by the Sega Model 1 arcade system:

How Virtua Fighter Saved PlayStation’s Bacon

It was inspired by Sega, Virtual Fighter was a revolutionary title, and that's the irony. It caused Sega to rapidly change it's own system in response with a hugely detrimental effect when they decided to turn it to a duel processing system. It was rushed. Aside from being difficult to learn and program for, it's release shoved out the door with a slew of buggy Saturn games further sullying an already disenchanted user-base.

Sega's own team (let alone third party) the experienced and talented Yuji Naka couldn't get what they wanted out of it late into life span -

In my opinion we still haven’t used 100% of the console’s hardware. We believe it is possible to make something much better. Nights is our first Saturn game and, thus, we couldn’t take full advantage of the system. We have studied a lot of possibilities that we could have used and we haven’t even tried them. Just the basic manual has three volumes (laughs). This time we have limited our own abilities.

By contrast the Sony PlayStation was easy to develop for using C programming, and constantly forcing both Nintendo and Sega to lower their price point with superior third party support partially because of this.

----

Whatever Sony is now, they absolutely deserved to win, they had the game pinned down while both Sega and Nintendo are highly guilty of being arrogant twits. In Sega's case, Tom Kalinske is a hero as far as I'm concerned, had they listened rather than blame him, things might be very different. Nakayama because too entwined in xenophobic Japanese culture, unwilling to listen to an American, when it was Tom Kalinske idea's in the first place that pulled them out of the gutter.

Even bigger irony (or equal) than Virtual Fighter, the marketing campaign of MTV style, rebellious culture Tom Kalinske initiated against Nintendo, with huge success for the Genesis, was thrown right back by Sony, both through ads and Crash Bandicoot being a shitty Sonic clone. By Nakayama orders they dismissed the Sega-Scream team replacing them with light family friendly advertising, further disillusioning it's already very burnt fan-base.

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#45 Edited by Jag85 (13484 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:
@Jag85 said:

Actually, the Nintendo PlayStation that Sony worked on was weaker than the Sega CD:

Power alone doesn't make a good console, the 3DO was powerful, the Jaguar boasting about it's 64 bit - do the math, one being unreasonably expensive and the both showing a paltry of offerings.

The Playstation as a console was a success for it's accessibility to be developed for, marketing and price, not it's solely power, although 32 bit as (deemed real not 32X) a whole, was part of the hype. The Nintendo 64 games looked better, and Saturn constantly touted it's untapped potential, but it meant little. Cartridges were a pain in the ass, expensive and many a third party developer had no chance, or appeal of dealing with the Saturns unwelcoming architecture. Essentially Sony had them all. By this time as well Nintendo (with it's more powerful console) was late to the race with barely any software.

Hypothetically, the console above, though weaker than a N64, designed primarily with 2D in mind, could easily have been more successful under Sony's tutelage, supportinng a better library of titles. It also would have mostly likely been cheaper as an add-on item. The PlayStation it's-self, already being weaker when it came to 3D made no odds - it was regarded as the better console. And generally still is by and large.

Nintendo could have flourished far more than it did, and Sega could potentially have been saved from disaster. They were punished, and punished greatly.

@Jag85 said:
tation that Sony worked on was weaker than the Sega CD:

Super NES CD-ROM

The hardware design that would eventually become the Sony PlayStation was primarily inspired by the Sega Model 1 arcade system:

How Virtua Fighter Saved PlayStation’s Bacon

It was inspired by Sega, Virtual Fighter was a revolutionary title, and that's the irony. It caused Sega to rapidly change it's own system in response with a hugely detrimental effect when they decided to turn it to a duel processoriing system. It was rushed. Aside from being difficult to learn and program far, it's release shoved out the door with a slew of buggy Saturn games further sullying an already disenchanted user-base.

Sega's own team (let alone third party) the experienced and talented Yuji Naka couldn't get what they wanted out of it late into life span -

n my opinion we still haven’t used 100% of the console’s hardware. We believe it is possible to make something much better. Nights is our first Saturn game and, thus, we couldn’t take full advantage of the system. We have studied a lot of possibilities that we could have used and we haven’t even tried them. Just the basic manual has three volumes (laughs). This time we have limited our own abilities.

By contrast the Sony PlayStation was easy to develop for using C programming, and constantly forcing both Nintendo and Sega to lower their price point with superior third party support partially because of this.

----

Whatever Sony is now, they absolutely deserved to win, they had the game pinned down while both Sega and Nintendo are highly guilty of being arrogant twits. In Sega's case, Tom Kalinske is a hero as far as I'm concerned, had they listened rather than blame him, things might be very different. Nakayama because too entwined in xenophobic Japanese culture, unwilling to listen to an American, when it was Tom Kalinske idea's in the first place that pulled them out of the gutter.

As you can see here:

Super NES CD-ROM

The Sony-Nintendo PlayStation's specs were weak. Not only was it weaker than the Sega CD, but it was barely more powerful than the SNES. It most likely would've been a failure, so Nintendo made the right call to pull out of the deal. Also, another reason Nintendo pulled out was because of Philips:

Philips CD-i

Nintendo decided to work with Dutch company Philips over fellow Japanese company Sony. In the end, the Philips CD add-on for the SNES never materialized either, but the Philips license instead gave us the worst Mario and Zelda games of all time, for the CD-i.

As far as Sega is concerned, Tom Kalinske is being dishonest. He's not telling the whole story, but is hiding his own faulty decisions. For example, he was responsible for the Saturn's biggest marketing blunder:

History of the Sega Saturn: Release

Following Japanese worries at E3 1995, Sega of Japan gave a deadline for Fall 1995. Tom Kalinske, however, decided to push the release date even earlier, to May 1995.

Sega Saturn: The Pleasure and the Pain

Kalinske remembers it as a situation where Sega was basically backed into a corner: " We all knew PlayStation was coming so we wanted to pre-empt them. Japan basically ordered us to be on shelf in the Fall, [so] I thought up the surprise launch as a way of generating excitement and PR. However, the downside was not enough software was ready, which was a significant problem, and the surprise benefited some retailers but annoyed others who were either not included or didn't receive a large enough initial allocation of hardware. On top of that, the price was really too high. If we'd had a larger number of units to launch correctly with all retailers, and if we'd had a few more software titles, I think the result would have been significantly better. On the other hand if we'd waited until PlayStation was in the market I think the results would have been even worse."

This is what he said back then. But in recent years, for the book Console Wars, he changed the narrative, putting the blame for the May '95 launch on SOJ, while absolving himself of any blame.

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#46 Edited by ScrollingLayers (632 posts) -

A real-time M2 demo, ran at 60fps (double the framerate of Mario 64 on Nintendo 64).

Loading Video...

I liked some of the M2 prototype console shells.

That one on the bottom right was going to be the M2 accelerator upgrade for the original Panasonic 3DO console.

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#47 Edited by uninspiredcup (33322 posts) -
@Jag85 said:

As you can see here:

Super NES CD-ROM

The Sony-Nintendo PlayStation's specs were weak. Not only was it weaker than the Sega CD, but it was barely more powerful than the SNES. It most likely would've been a failure, so Nintendo made the right call to pull out of the deal. Also, another reason Nintendo pulled out was because of Philips:

Philips CD-i

Nintendo decided to work with Dutch company Philips over fellow Japanese company Sony. In the end, the Philips CD add-on for the SNES never materialized either, but the Philips license instead gave us the worst Mario and Zelda games of all time, for the CD-i.

As far as Sega is concerned, Tom Kalinske is being dishonest. He's not telling the whole story, but is hiding his own faulty decisions. For example, he was responsible for the Saturn's biggest marketing blunder:

Both the 32X, Sega CD, as were the 3DO and Jaguar were more-powerful. The Jaguar itself was marketed as the first 64 bit console, against 16 bit consoles, almost purely advertised on power alone.

All of these failed because of either high price or lack of support. Nintendo themselves put out the 32 bit Virtual Boy which, aside from being panned as a piece of shit was heavily priced.

At this point it's hypothetical, but in my opinion had they had not made the same mistake as the Sega-CD, as in having FMV's be the gameplay rather than supplement it, and secondly, had the add-on cheap like the 32X, while also not making the mistake of Sega having a packed in game and proper cord by default jumping the price up, and most importantly supported it with great games and third party support as with the NES and SNES then I think under those circumcises it would succeed. Possibly more so than the N64.

Part of the reason of Nintendo's success over Sega in the first place, regardless of more powerful hardware, was it's iron-fisted third party support and getting into the market first, after the crash. Likewise, even though the Nintendo 64 itself was absent during it's transitional period of PlayStation and Saturn, Donkey Kong Country, on the SNES, sold 6 million units, became the fastest selling Nintendo game, as well as the systems second best selling title eventually selling 9 million units.

If like the 32X this acted (or at least was perceived) as a band aid for a later system, the snes itself, was still a relevant system, ceasing production eventually in 1999, while 32X/SegaCD/Saturn were by an large an unmitigated disaster. The idea of the 32X/SegaCD aren't bad in themselves, the implementation is.

@Jag85 said:

History of the Sega Saturn: Release

Following Japanese worries at E3 1995, Sega of Japan gave a deadline for Fall 1995. Tom Kalinske, however, decided to push the release date even earlier, to May 1995.

Sega Saturn: The Pleasure and the Pain

Kalinske remembers it as a situation where Sega was basically backed into a corner: " We all knew PlayStation was coming so we wanted to pre-empt them. Japan basically ordered us to be on shelf in the Fall, [so] I thought up the surprise launch as a way of generating excitement and PR. However, the downside was not enough software was ready, which was a significant problem, and the surprise benefited some retailers but annoyed others who were either not included or didn't receive a large enough initial allocation of hardware. On top of that, the price was really too high. If we'd had a larger number of units to launch correctly with all retailers, and if we'd had a few more software titles, I think the result would have been significantly better. On the other hand if we'd waited until PlayStation was in the market I think the results would have been even worse."

This is what he said back then. But in recent years, for the book Console Wars, he changed the narrative, putting the blame for the May '95 launch on SOJ, while absolving himself of any blame.

The Saturn was going to launch as an obtuse piece of hardware with 1-2 games regardless. For years developers would have issues or under utilize it. The architectural reason itself is because of Nakayama orders. Getting the jump on Sony was still the wise idea. As we know it's why NES partially dominated the Master System. It already owned the territory,

Regardless of what Tom Kalinske done, this thing was going to have problems. Best out of a bad situation.

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#48 Posted by PopGotcha (716 posts) -

# Great thread, cheers for finding all them. So good to look back at how hyped we were, for something that seems so underpowered now. Ill never forget seeing Mario in 3D and losing my brains. That was pretty awesome stuff as a 6-7 year old

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#49 Edited by GameboyTroy (9147 posts) -

Here's info about the Saturn for the people talking about it.

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#50 Posted by HalcyonScarlet (8379 posts) -

Ah shit, those were the days. It's been that long since Nintendo released a good home console.