64DD

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Nintendo 64DD)
Jump to: navigation, search
64DD
Logo 64DD.png
64DD-Attached.jpg
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Video game console add-on
Generation Fifth generation (32-bit/64-bit era)
Retail availability
  • JP December 1, 1999
Discontinued
  • JP August 29, 2000
Units sold 15,000 [1]
Media Magneto-optical discs (64 MB)
Storage Cartridge battery, Controller Pak
Online services RandnetDD

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,[2] and was never released outside of Japan.[1]

History[edit]

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.[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 ten 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.

Hardware[edit]

The 64DD unattached

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.

Accessories[edit]

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.

Randnet[edit]

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.

Legacy[edit]

The concept of downloading information was earlier seen in the Famicom Modem for the Famicom and Satellaview for the Super Famicom.

Released software[edit]

nine officially licensed and released games for the 64DD are showcased here.
Title Release date
Randnet Disk
(ランドネットディスク?)
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:
Tinkling Toddler Liberation Front! Assemble!

(巨人のドシン解放戦線 チビッコチッコ大集合
Kyojin no Doshin Kaihō Sensen Chibikko Chikko Daishūgō?)
May 17, 2000
Mario Artist: Paint Studio
(マリオアーティスト ペイントスタジオ?)
December 1, 1999
Mario Artist: Talent Studio
(マリオアーティスト タレントスタジオ?)
February 23, 2000
Mario Artist: Communication Kit
(マリオアーティスト コミュニケーションキット?)
June 29, 2000
Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
(マリオアーティスト ポリゴンスタジオ?)
August 29, 2000
SimCity 64
(シムシティー64?)
February 23, 2000

Proposed software[edit]

Several games were announced for the Nintendo 64DD that ended up either canceled due to the system's failure, 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:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "NUS: Nintendo64". Maru-chang.com. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ Imamura, Takao; Miyamoto, Shigeru (August 1997). "Pak Watch E3 Report "The Game Masters"". Nintendo Power. (Interview) (Nintendo): 104–105. 
  4. ^ "Epic and DMA Go to 64DD Again". IGN. 1997-03-20. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  5. ^ "Titus Makes Games 64DD Compatible". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Nintendo Still Cooking Cabbage". IGN. 2000-04-04. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  7. ^ IGN staff (January 16, 1997). "Enix/Sony Update". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  8. ^ Nintendo Magazine (France) January 2004, Oriental Blue GBA preview
  9. ^ "Project Cairo". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 

External links[edit]