If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

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LoganRuckman
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If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby LoganRuckman » April 16th, 2016, 1:48 pm

I feel that Nintendo would have destroyed the PS1 during the fifth generation. The 3rd parties would have stayed with Nintendo, and being a 64 bit system vs. the PS1's 32 bits, the games could have had unimaginably huge worlds and eye popping graphics (though the 64 did have quite a few graphically impressive games, moreso than the PS1). It would have saved Nintendo money as well.

I also feel that Nintendo would be in a much better position today. Nintendo really screwed themselves by sticking with the outdated cartridge format, and aside from the Wii and their handhelds, they never really recovered. For example, Nintendo still has trouble getting third-party exclusives to this day. Sony has also been the undisputed leader for three of the last four generations, and Nintendo has been in last place for two of those generations.

What do you think? Would Nintendo still be the king of the pack? Would they have made Sony an interesting footnote in the history of gaming? Or would things have gone pretty much the same regardless of format?

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scotland
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby scotland » April 16th, 2016, 2:19 pm

Remember, before there was a Sony Playstation there was a Nintendo Play Station.

Nintendo could have gone CD tech, but chose to have a public breakup and woke the sleeping giant in Sony to enter the console market. Nintendo and Sony could have been partners - imagine how that would have played out. That partnership may have destroyed Sega right there, and led to another NES like golden age for Nintendo. There is a lesson in there somewhere for Nintendo, and I think its about hubris.

Once they spurned Sony, the best the N64 would use was probably smaller Gamecube proprietary optical disks. Even the 64DD (horrible name) used proprietary disks. The gamecube sized disks would have prevented those 'unimaginably huge worlds' you speak of.

On top of that, Nintendo has shown serious issues over time with things like massive game delays, destroying relationships with third parties, failure to capitalizing on their hardware assets like the WiiU tablet, not wanting to compete technologically with other console makers, etc. All things Sony seems to handle much better.

A CD based N64 was never going to happen without that Sony partnership, and Nintendo choose to rupture that relationship. The next generation really saw the First Person Shooter genre boom which changed things again.

Wallyworld
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby Wallyworld » April 17th, 2016, 9:51 am

I don't think you guys are giving Nintendo enough credit. Remember Nintendo won the last generation console war with the Wii. The Wii was left in the Market Place to long but I'm it's early years it sold more console faster than any console in the history of video games. Not only that but the big N made profit on every console sold. They banked a ton of cash and they are in great financial condition still to this day.

No question the Wii U is an unmitigated disaster. It's a nice console but to gimmicky and under underpowered. The Wii name didn't help matters one bit either as the last couple years the Wii existed it was using ten year old tech and was largely seen as a dinosaur at the end.

Nintendo has a ton of cash and hopefully its life's lessons will guide them to make the NX an amazing console that everybody will want.

shootingstar
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby shootingstar » April 17th, 2016, 12:15 pm

I agree with scotland, unfortunately Nintendo made a lot of poor business decisions back in those days as he mentioned. Nintendo used a lot of unconventional formats including cartridges because they were in my opinion a little too obsessed with preventing piracy. Piracy is a problem, but the PSX still made a lot of money in software so it wasn't as much of an issue as Nintendo thought, not to mention this was back in the early days of the internet.

I have to say though, companies like Rare pushed the cartridge format to it's limits and created eye-popping graphics and huge, expansive worlds without the help of the CD format. Obviously cartridges were very expensive and limited in terms of sound design, but great games could still be made.

Sut
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby Sut » April 17th, 2016, 5:12 pm

Another thing to bear in mind is some third party publishers couldn't wait to get away from Nintendo after their behaviour with the NES and SNES (SNES only slackened due to legal intervention).

So even if Nintendo did go with CD's I still don't think they would have got the same support as Sony did.

Sut
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby Sut » April 17th, 2016, 5:23 pm

Wallyworld wrote:Remember Nintendo won the last generation console war with the Wii.


Yes around 20 million more units than the 360 and PS3, still 20 million off the PS2 but as you say clear winner of the seventh generation (sales wise).
It's odd that despite it's sales success Nintendo's reputation and the systems active lifespan didn't fare well in the seventh generation. Compare that to the only other console to sell more (the PS2) which had a lot longer lifespan of quality games and maintains a better reputation.

It's paradoxical that the Wii was a success but also a kind of failure at the same time (failure as in brand damage and retrospective opinion) and the Wii's reputation seems to have harmed Nintendo's later systems.

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scotland
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby scotland » April 17th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Sut wrote:
Wallyworld wrote:Remember Nintendo won the last generation console war with the Wii.


It's paradoxical that the Wii was a success but also a kind of failure at the same time (failure as in brand damage and retrospective opinion) and the Wii's reputation seems to have harmed Nintendo's later systems.


Like many statistics, you can pick and choose how you want to define 'won that generation'.

Yes, the Wii sold an impressive amount of consoles, but these sales were front loaded in the 7th generation. I think the software attach rate is also lower, and they did not build the kind of online ecosystem of Sony and MS. The Wii also became well known for being a motion control fad that families enjoyed for a few months then abandoned, or a casual console for places like hospitals and nursing homes, and a console that was basically a souped up Gamecube with different controllers. All of that meant money for Nintendo, but at cheapening the quality associated with their brand. It reminds me of when Disney was putting out direct to video sequels to their hit movies, like Lion King 2 and Little Mermaid 2. It was money for Disney, but at a cost to their brand, and after a decade or so, they stopped doing that.

Compare the Wii's active life to the PS3 and Xbox360. Those consoles were still be actively supported with new AAA titles well after the PS4 and Xb1 were out. Its amazing a AAA title like Titanfall was duel released on the XB1 and Xbox360 in 2014, 9 years after the release of the 360. That's an amazing mark of success - to have new AAA titles being made 9 years after launch.

shootingstar
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby shootingstar » April 17th, 2016, 6:32 pm

I think it is important to note that the casual gamers that the Wii appealed to aren't going to constantly go out and buy new games and systems. They don't have an intense interest in video games and aren't going to spend the money.

What happened with the Wii worked well in the beginning, but was not sustainable because casual gamers don't want to spend a whole lot of money or time on games so Nintendo was not able to keep the momentum going. The hardcore gamers, those that have Sony and Microsoft systems, are willing to keep spending on new games and systems because they love games and they are always looking for the next big experience.

Hardcore gamers are willing to spend extra money for the best graphics, so they flocked to Sony and Microsoft, and the third parties followed because hardcore gamers are the people willing to spend money on their games. The third parties most likely also wanted the more powerful hardware as it allows for more creative freedom in terms of gameplay, not just graphics.

Unfortunately Nintendo was not able to attract the hardcore gamers, and the casual fanbase who bought the Wii doesn't have the interest in games to spend on them like the hardcore gamers, so Nintendo's success didn't last.

LoganRuckman
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby LoganRuckman » April 19th, 2016, 7:03 pm

Yeah, I'll admit that Nintendo screwed themselves by screwing over Sony. If they wouldn't have low balled them, Sony probably wouldn't be a threat. And Nintendo would have been in much better shape. At least we got one of the best consoles ever with the PS1. The same can't be said for the CDi after Nintendo screwed Philips.

Also, I adore and cherish the GameCube with all my heart, but choosing to go with the Mini DVD format was a pretty dumb decision. Nintendo worried way too much about piracy.

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Retrology
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Re: If The N64 Used The CD Format Instead Of Cartridges...

Postby Retrology » April 19th, 2016, 9:16 pm

As much as I love the N64, I will admit it would have had a far better fate had Nintendo went with the CD format. While it had its games with memorable tunes, most licensed games had theirs' (or however you spell it, idk) compressed or looped. Space for a cartridge also meant neutered versions of games like Hydro Thunder compared to the other consoles.

Has it affected Nintendo's third party relationships? Yes. They can get by with their own exclusives, but it's clear that they never truly acquired that gateway of third party titles (unless you count the Wii's shovelware).

It would've been interesting to see Super Mario 64 with CD music, Star Fox 64 with cut scenes, and Ocarina of Time on a PS1-esque console. Then again, would've meant load times, which was a blessing cartridges hid.


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