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Thread: N64...why not backwards compatible

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Default N64...why not backwards compatible

    I never understood that...Nintendo always made their Gameboys backwards working...which accounts for a huge chunk of their success story.

    Why didn't they do that with their systems? Wouldn't it give N64 some upper hand over the PS1 if it could play all the SNES classics?
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    ServBot (Level 11) slip81's Avatar
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    Maybe because the NES,SNES and N64 carts are all different sizes and they didn't want to make all the carts the same size or make two or three different ports on the top of the machine. Also it could have been a hardware issue, maybe it was too difficult at the time to make a machine that could emulate the NES and SNES.

    If you really want to play classic Nintendo games on your 64 find yourself a tri-star. It's an adaptor that plugs into the top of the 64 and allows you to play NES and SNES games. They used to sell them on Lik-Sang, but they've been out of stock for quite some time.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    does it emulate perfectly tho?
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    I heard the tri-star is wonderful.

    As for backwards compatibility...nope..Nintendo are suckers for "Out with the old and in with the new"

    Look at Nintendo DS, "Oh Im sorry I can't play GBC or B&W GameBoy classics...but I love GBA titles....if they are single player only...sorry no multiplayer fun for you..unless you have the new HELLA cool wireless multiplayer DS games for $39.99! Buy Now! Click here!" Because Nintendo is forcing you to buy the better products over what is already available.

    Since I have to agree with many members here that, kids don't want the old goodies...fine by me...because that's more for me and for my collection and they take their Need for Speed or Madden.
    These cartridges are dirty as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

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    Bell (Level 8) Predatorxs's Avatar
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    It would, but i think nintendo like alot of over companies, have the idea that at the time, the N64 was there "New" system, the Snes (while a great system and very popular) had served it's purpose (and it's time).

    The company has to move forward and not look back ie, associating with an OLD system, and when it comes to marketing, you need to show this is a "New" system, and not confuse your possible buyers with said old system.

    It would have been the same with the Nes, when you have a faster, more superior system, why go back and mess with an old media.

    Ie Nes = Snes = N64 = Gamecube, they can't go forward while still taking a step back. (time and money are a huge factor)

    It would have been very cool to have the N64 backward compatible, the shape of the carts, didn't help either.

    It's far easier for the PS2 since all there CD's are the same size, so it was just a case of having the system be able to read the old Disc's.

    In saying all of that, most systems in the future (XBOX 2, PS3 etc, etc) will and should be all backward compatible.

    Also abit of a throw away rumour i heard, the new XBOX will be called simply the X2.

    ..XS
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    couldnt xbox be sued by the makers of the movie XMEN 2? wasnt that called "X2" in all the ads?

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbertandernie
    couldnt xbox be sued by the makers of the movie XMEN 2? wasnt that called "X2" in all the ads?
    I don't think Microsoft is going to call it the Xbox 2 because it would look like a generation behind the Playstation 3. To the average consumer 3 is better than 2. At least that is my thinking behind it.
    Cool people I have bought stuff from on this board: orrimarrko kyosuke75 dave2236 video_game_addict cloudstrife29661 NESCollector75

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Algol's Avatar
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    I remember hearing that Nintendo originally planned to make the SNES backwards compatible with the NES, but that would make it too expensive. Maybe it was the same thing with the N64.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kai123
    Quote Originally Posted by qbertandernie
    couldnt xbox be sued by the makers of the movie XMEN 2? wasnt that called "X2" in all the ads?
    I don't think Microsoft is going to call it the Xbox 2 because it would look like a generation behind the Playstation 3. To the average consumer 3 is better than 2. At least that is my thinking behind it.
    Well, lets hope that they don't call it NeXtBOX or something lame like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Algol
    I remember hearing that Nintendo originally planned to make the SNES backwards compatible with the NES, but that would make it too expensive. Maybe it was the same thing with the N64.
    That, and the SNES was still pretty popular if I remember right. I bet they were still selling pretty well.

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    Cost is everything. Nobody's going to pay $200 for the DS just so that it can play all GB, GBC, GBA, and whatnot games. Same with the N64 and whatnot. If people want to pay that much they'll just get a PC that can emulate all of that stuff.

    They should make something now that playes all NES, SNES, and N64 games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs
    Quote Originally Posted by Algol
    I remember hearing that Nintendo originally planned to make the SNES backwards compatible with the NES, but that would make it too expensive. Maybe it was the same thing with the N64.
    That, and the SNES was still pretty popular if I remember right. I bet they were still selling pretty well.
    Apparently the SNES processor architecture looks like Nintendo came pretty close to NES compatibility, but apparently it would have held back the power of the SNES to make it backwards compatible.

    As for the N64, I suspect the fact that Sony made the SNES sound processor (and the fact that there was quite the falling out between Sony and Nintendo) had something to do with it.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorpho
    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs
    Quote Originally Posted by Algol
    I remember hearing that Nintendo originally planned to make the SNES backwards compatible with the NES, but that would make it too expensive. Maybe it was the same thing with the N64.
    That, and the SNES was still pretty popular if I remember right. I bet they were still selling pretty well.
    Apparently the SNES processor architecture looks like Nintendo came pretty close to NES compatibility, but apparently it would have held back the power of the SNES to make it backwards compatible.

    As for the N64, I suspect the fact that Sony made the SNES sound processor (and the fact that there was quite the falling out between Sony and Nintendo) had something to do with it.
    Yup, this is easily proven by a simple "dare to compare" test

    Pop in KI Gold and compare it to SNES KI...the sound makes the difference
    These cartridges are dirty as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    The Genesis was backwards compatible to the SMS, and all the Power Base Converter really did was connect the different cartridge/card pins to the Genesis and toggle it into SMS mode.

    But...

    The SNES was ALMOST backwards compatible, but not entirely, and Nintendo was too game on selling their new Top Loader (Famicom A/V) as a second system for people to buy rather than a 2-in-1 deal. There was little competition at the time, so backwards compatibility wasn't expected or demanded back then.

    The SNES' CPU is backwards compatible, and the system even has a speed mode, so it can be toggled to run at the NES' 1.79mhz. It has a better way of reading the joypad, but still has the mode to read it as was on the NES.

    In fact, to top all of this off, there are DOZENS of NES games hackers have (fairly easily) ported to the SNES without emulation.

    However, the main thing holding it all back was that the NES has the PPU (graphics) bus directly connected to the cartridge, giving the cartridge almost complete control over the video as it is drawn! In order to implement this on the SNES, it would have required a different design and more work to produce.

    Because the NES cartridges have control over the PPU bus though, the cartridges can have additional mapper hardware that performs incredible video effects, and cut out a lot of CPU usage. For example, on the SNES, to update the background tiles for animation, one must copy a new set of them to the VRAM with a length of looping code. With the NES, one can simply change the tile bank with a single opcode! If the SNES had the graphics bus connected to the cartridge as on the NES, or just the tile VRAM alone, a heck of a lot more could have been pulled off!

    No console has been designed as elegantly as the NES! Which is why I love coding for it so much!

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    Nice bit of Info there Brian_Provinciano, makes for interesting reading

    (off topic to Brian)
    I just tried your WWW button in your signature, but i think you have two hyper links, instead of just one.

    ..XS
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs
    Well, lets hope that they don't call it NeXtBOX or something lame like that.
    You've gone and done it now haven't you!

    Just think if you are indeed right and they have gone and called it that! Or what if a Micosoft R&D guy is reading this looking for a new name...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Ghouls_'N'_Ghosts
    I heard the tri-star is wonderful.
    You must have heard wrong.

    The Tri-Star SUCKS. Badly. I bought one for $75.00 a few years ago and was overly happy about it because I would be able to play all my NES and SNES games with the N64 controller, which I like the feel of (D-Pad and buttons). To put it bluntly, the Tri-Star is cheaply made, doesn't always work, doesn't always work correctly and is a pain in the ass to use. You are much better off keeping three systems set up. At least, that's my opinion of it and I know a lot of others who would agree.

    Oh, and the Tri-Star wasn't available in the US, so it wouldn't have helped their sales anyway.
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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbertandernie
    couldnt xbox be sued by the makers of the movie XMEN 2? wasnt that called "X2" in all the ads?
    Nope, because whoever owned the trademark to the X2 logo owned just that - the logo, not the letter and number combination. I'm free to write X2 on anything, any way as I like as long as I'm not using trademarked/copyrighted font faces or artwork.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini-Phoenix
    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs
    Well, lets hope that they don't call it NeXtBOX or something lame like that.
    You've gone and done it now haven't you!

    Just think if you are indeed right and they have gone and called it that! Or what if a Micosoft R&D guy is reading this looking for a new name...
    I've been saying that for months now...nothing new here. It's a dig at Microsoft, Apple, and NeXt, if you know what that's all about.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) atomicthumbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Quote Originally Posted by qbertandernie
    couldnt xbox be sued by the makers of the movie XMEN 2? wasnt that called "X2" in all the ads?
    Nope, because whoever owned the trademark to the X2 logo owned just that - the logo, not the letter and number combination. I'm free to write X2 on anything, any way as I like as long as I'm not using trademarked/copyrighted font faces or artwork.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini-Phoenix
    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs
    Well, lets hope that they don't call it NeXtBOX or something lame like that.
    You've gone and done it now haven't you!

    Just think if you are indeed right and they have gone and called it that! Or what if a Micosoft R&D guy is reading this looking for a new name...
    I've been saying that for months now...nothing new here. It's a dig at Microsoft, Apple, and NeXt, if you know what that's all about.
    Didn't we have a whole topic about the name thing some time ago?

    Why not go with Xtreme (too close to ApeXtreme), Super Xbox, Xclamation or something else equally lame. What's next? A completely TRANSPARENT console called the XRAY? A system in the shape of a vagina called the XXXbox?


    They should completely steer away from anything "X" related. Worked well for Nintendo (from Super Nintendo & Nintendo 64 to GameCube).

    "Gamera is really neat --- He is filled with turtle meat --- We all love you Ga-me-ra!"
    - MST3K

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