What if the N64 was disk based?

Wildfiremicro
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Wildfiremicro
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Joined: June 20th, 2016, 1:21 am

December 12th, 2016, 10:54 pm #1

I think this will make for a interesting discussion. What if the N64 was disk based like the PlayStation?
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Shellshocker18
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Shellshocker18
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December 12th, 2016, 11:16 pm #2

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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December 14th, 2016, 3:56 pm #3

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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Joined: January 1st, 2017, 12:52 am

January 1st, 2017, 1:21 am #4

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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September 12th, 2017, 10:41 pm #5

DABOMBEVERYPLAY wrote: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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September 13th, 2017, 3:55 pm #6

RLJA42 wrote: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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Kamikaze
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September 13th, 2017, 7:49 pm #7

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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Vaettur
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September 13th, 2017, 9:17 pm #8

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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Retro Junkie
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September 14th, 2017, 3:16 am #9

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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September 14th, 2017, 4:25 am #10

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.


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