|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2007)|
|Type||Video game console add-on|
|Generation||Fifth generation (32-bit/64-bit era)|
|Units sold||15,000 |
|Media||Magneto-optical discs (64 MB)|
|Storage||Cartridge battery, Controller Pak|
The 64DD (ロクヨンディーディー Roku Yon Dī Dī?) ("DD" being short for "Disk Drive", and originally "Dynamic Drive"), sometimes referred to as the Nintendo 64DD, is a peripheral for the Nintendo 64 game console. It plugs into the N64 through the Extension Port (marked "EXT") on the Nintendo 64's underside, and allows the N64 to use proprietary 64 MB magneto-optical disks for expanded data storage. Although it had been announced before the launch of the N64, the 64DD's development was lengthy. The drive was eventually released in Japan when the console was in its twilight years. Scheduled for North American release in 2000, it was a commercial failure, and was never released outside of Japan.
The 64DD was announced at 1995's Nintendo Shoshinkai game show event (now called Nintendo World). One of the games that was featured for use with the 64DD was Creator, a music and animation program by Software Creations, the same people that made Sound Tool for the Nintendo Ultra 64 development kit. The game advertised that it could be implemented into other games, being able to replace textures and possibly create new levels and characters. However, there was no playable version of Creator available at Shoshinkai 1995. At E3 in 1997, Nintendo's main game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, speculated that the first games to be released for the new system would be SimCity 64, Mario Artist, Pocket Monsters, and Mother 3.
However, the 64DD's release was delayed until December 1, 1999 in Japan. Anticipating that its long-planned disk drive peripheral would become a commercial failure, Nintendo sold the system mainly through a subscription service called Randnet and customers would continue to receive games through the mail as well. Only very limited quantities of the 64DD were made available through stores. As a result, the 64DD was only supported by Nintendo for a short period of time and only nine games were released for it. Most 64DD games were either cancelled entirely, released as normal Nintendo 64 games as cartridge-based storage sizes had increased, or eventually ported to the next-generation GameCube console.
The 64DD has a 32-bit coprocessor to help it read magneto-optical discs, and to transfer data to the main console. It was intended to be Nintendo's answer to the cheaper-to-produce and ubiquitously standardized Compact Disc that was used by several competitors such as Sony's PlayStation. CD storage can hold at least approximately 650 megabytes (MB) of information, compared to the Nintendo 64's cartridge which ranges from 4 to 64 MB. The 64DD also has a built in 4 MB memory expansion pack, yielding a total of 8 MB.
The unique medium for the 64DD is rewritable and has a storage capacity of 64 MB. The games on normal N64 cartridges can also hook up with DD expansion media, to provide extra levels, minigames, and even saving personal and user-created data.
The drive works similarly to a Zip drive, and has an enhanced audio library for the games to use. The main N64 deck uses its RCP and NEC VR4300 to process data from the top cartridge slot and the I/O devices. Like nearly all disc-based consoles, the 64DD can boot up without a cartridge on the top deck, because it has a boot menu.
The 64DD has its own software development kit that works in conjunction with the N64 development kit.
The released version of 64DD includes a modem for connecting to the Randnet network, an audio-video adapter (female RCA jack, and line in) called the Capture Cassette to plug into the main cartridge slot, and a mouse and keyboard that plugs into the controller ports.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
As the Super Famicom had the Satellaview online service in Japan, the 64DD had the Randnet service (named for the two companies involved with the project, 'Recruit' and 'Nintendo'). Launched in December 1999, the Randnet service allowed gamers to compete against each other online, play demos of unreleased games, surf the Internet, and listen to music. Both services served only Japan and were discontinued after some years.
The Randnet Starter Kit comes packaged with 64DD machines and includes everything needed to have accessed the service at a subscription cost of ¥2500 per month, equivalent to about US$25.
- 64DD: The writable 64 MB disk drive system.
- Nintendo 64 Modem: The Nexus-developed software modem is housed on a special cartridge that plugs into the N64's cart slot. The Modem Cart has a port to plug in the included modular cable which then connects to the network.
- Expansion Pak: This 4 MB RAM expansion brings the N64's system RAM to a total 8 MB. The Expansion Pak was later bundled with Donkey Kong 64 worldwide. It was also sold separately.
- Randnet Browser Disc: This let users of the former online service access the "members only" information exchange page as well as the Internet.
- Once logged on to the service, players could choose from the following options:
- Battle Mode: Play against other gamers and swap scores.
- Observation Mode: Watch other players' game sessions.
- Beta Test: Play sample levels from upcoming games.
- Information Exchange: Use online message boards and share email with other users.
- Community: Swap messages with the game programmers and producers.
- Internet Surfing: Surf the Internet with the custom web browser.
- Digital Magazine: Check online sports scores, weather, and news.
- Music Distribution: Listen to music, some of which was yet to be released in stores.
- Editing Tool: Create custom avatars to interact with other users.
Randnet was a semi-popular service, considering the limited 64DD user base. One of the most substantial series of games to include Randnet support is the Mario Artist series, which allowed users to swap their artwork creations with others. Contests and other special events also occurred every now and then. However, the service was not successful enough to justify its continued existence, so in February 2001 it was closed. Nintendo bought back all the Randnet related hardware and gave all users free service from the announcement of closure, until the day it actually went offline.
The 64DD may be seen as the Nintendo 64 equivalent of the Atari Jaguar CD. Both are disc-based add-on consoles, announced in the weeks surrounding the launch of their base consoles. In both cases, the base consoles did not perform as well in the market as their publishers (Nintendo and Atari Corporation) had hoped, and the add-ons were ultimately released for only two reasons: to keep the promise of their release to players, and to recoup some of the money already spent on the consoles' development. Because of this, the consoles were both released in limited numbers and with little marketing, made available only in the publisher's home country, and supported for a very short time. Finally, both consoles were released with an unusually high amount of pack-in materials (the Jaguar CD was packed with two games, a soundtrack CD, and a demo disc). The Atari Jaguar CD is said to have a higher failure rate than the 64DD.
|February 23, 2000|
|F-Zero X Expansion Kit
(エフゼロ エックス エクスパンション キット?)
|April 21, 2000|
|Japan Pro Golf Tour 64
(日本プロゴルフツアー64 Nippon Puro Gorufu Tsua 64?)
|May 2, 2000|
|Doshin the Giant
(巨人のドシン1 Kyojin no Doshin 1?)
|December 1, 1999|
|Doshin the Giant: Rescue from the Front
by the Toddlers that Tinkle at the Large Meeting-hall
Kyojin no Doshin Kaihō Sensen Chibikko Chikko Daishūgō?)
|May 17, 2000|
|Mario Artist: Paint Studio
|December 1, 1999|
|Mario Artist: Talent Studio
|February 23, 2000|
|Mario Artist: Communication Kit
|June 29, 2000|
|Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
|August 29, 2000|
|February 23, 2000|
Several games were announced for the Nintendo 64DD that ended up either canceled, being released on Nintendo 64 cartridge format only, or ported to another console such as the Sony PlayStation or the next-generation Nintendo GameCube. The following is a list of those games:
- 7th Legion
- Automobili Lamborghini Add-On
- Banjo-Kazooie 2 (released in cartridge as Banjo-Tooie)
- Communication Game (online game by PostPet development team, a famous Japanese E-mail software)
- Creator (later integrated into Mario Artist: Paint Studio)
- DD Sequencer
- Desert Island: No Man's Island
- Dezaemon 3D Expansion Kit
- Digital Horse Racing Newspaper
- Doubutsu Banchou (Animal Leader, released on Nintendo GameCube as Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest)
- Dōbutsu no Mori (Animal Forest, released as a standard cartridge in Japan, and later as Animal Crossing on the Nintendo GameCube)
- Dragon Warrior VII (ported and released on the Sony PlayStation instead)
- DT Blood Masters
- Famicom Classics Vol. 1
- Far East of Eden: Oriental Blue (cancelled, it became a Game Boy Advance title of the same name)
- Final Fantasy VII (development actually never started on Nintendo 64, was later released for the Sony PlayStation)
- Fire Emblem 64 (scrapped; some elements of the plot were later used on the first Fire Emblem for Game Boy Advance, Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi)
- Gendai Dai-Senryaku: Ultimate War
- Hiryu no Ken Stadium DD Real Version
- Hiryu no Ken Stadium DD SD Version
- Hybrid Heaven (released on cartridge)
- Jungle Emperor Leo (Kimba the White Lion)
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (released on cartridge)
- Mario Artist: Game Maker
- Mario Artist: Graphical Message Maker
- Mario Artist: Sound Maker
- Mario Artist: Video Jockey
- Mission: Impossible (released on cartridge)
- Mission: Impossible 64DD
- Morita Shogi 64 (released on cartridge)
- Mother 3 ("EarthBound 64") (cancelled; it became a Game Boy Advance title of the same name in Japan)
- Mother 3.5 (EarthBound 64 add-on)
- Ogre Battle Saga
- Pokémon 64/Pokémon RPG
- Pokémon Stadium (released on cartridge)
- Pokémon Stadium Expansion Disk
- Pokémon Stadium 2 (released in cartridge)
- Project Cairo
- Quest 64 Add-On
- Resident Evil 0 (released on Nintendo GameCube)
- Rev Limit
- Seaman (released on Sega Dreamcast)
- SimCopter 64
- SnowSpeeder (released on cartridge)
- Super Mario 64 2
- Super Mario RPG 2 (released on cartridge as Mario Story in Japan and Paper Mario in the rest of the world)
- Tonic Trouble Add-On
- Toukon Road: Brave Spirits Add-On
- Twelve Tales: Conker 64 (released on cartridge as Conker's Bad Fur Day)
- Wall Street
- Ultra Donkey Kong (released on cartridge as Donkey Kong 64)
- Ura Zelda, expansion disk to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Yosuke Ide's Mahjong Juku
- Zelda 64 (released on cartridge as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
- Zelda Gaiden (released on cartridge The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)
- "NUS: Nintendo64". Maru-chang.com. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- "Super Nintendo Entertainment System Unrivaled Champion of the Fourth Generation". gameconsoles.co.uk. 2007. Archived from the original on June 27, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Imamura, Takao; Miyamoto, Shigeru (August, 1997). (Interview). "Pak Watch E3 Report "The Game Masters"". Nintendo Power (Nintendo): pp. 104–105.
- "Epic and DMA Go to 64DD Again". IGN. 1997-03-20. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- "Titus Makes Games 64DD Compatible". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- "Nintendo Still Cooking Cabbage". IGN. 2000-04-04. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- IGN staff (January 16, 1997). "Enix/Sony Update". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Nintendo Magazine (France) January 2004, Oriental Blue GBA preview
- "Project Cairo". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
- Everything About the 64DD – IGN
- 64DD: Broken Promises - IGN
- 64DD.net – Biggest 64DD site on the net
- Seb Angulo's Lair – Pictures of the 11 released 64DD games
- Seb Angulo's Lair Multimedia – Homemade hi-res in-game videos of 64DD games
- N-sider.com - NintendOnline - Page 2 article about Nintendo's online history
- NES - Not Enough Shaders - Why Netscape Almost Never Happened - Online gaming history between Nintendo and Netscape