Nintendo 64 Review
Remember when the Nintendo 64 came out and we all thought it was gonna be the best. Well it wasn’t, although it did feature graphics slightly better than the PlayStation. It was also the first console to use the control stick.
The Nintendo 64 was the so-so received system to compete with Sony’s PlayStation. The system launched successfully, and had several amazing games. The problem and error Nintendo made was keeping the cartridge medium, rather than using CDs like Sony. The only advantage the cartridge even had over the CD was almost no loading time. The CD however could hold over 600MB, while the cartridge ranged from a mere 8MB – costly 64MB. As a developer, wouldn’t you choose that amazing amount of space on a CD?
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This is not to say the Nintendo 64 was a total failure. It launched with two amazing games, Super Mario 64 and Pilot Wings 64. The 64 was often added to games to emphasize the 64-bit processor versus the 32-bit PlayStation processor. Both were excellent games that showed the superior graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 64 over the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 provided smooth textures, while the PlayStation provide a pixelated mess, but still graphically impressive 3D capabilities for the time. There was also the Sega Saturn competing in the race, and while there were a few decent games, the Saturn was a failure in the game system race for number one.
More importantly, the PlayStation had hundreds and hundreds of games, such as the holy grail of RPGs, “Final Fantasy VII.” The Nintendo 64 could not possibly compete with its much more limited selection of games. The cartridges cost to a developer was $15-$30, while a PlayStation CD cost them only $1. When you take into account profit margins, as a developer, you may not even look at the Nintendo 64. That was really the only failure of the Nintendo 64. It was doomed from the start because of its game format.
The graphical superiority and Nintendo brand name was not enough to save Nintendo. Still it may be harsh to call the Nintendo 64 a failure. The system was more of an underachiever. There were dozens of great games to be played even if the overall selection was severely limited. The system sold 33 million units worldwide, so gamers weren’t completely ignoring the system.
Although, there were some great games on the Nintendo 64; such as GoldenEye 007, Donkey Kong 64, the Zelda series, Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie the underrated Body Harvest, Turok, and the Mario Party series. No one can truly say the PlayStation was the better gaming system, but in the sheer number of highly received games versus the Nintendo 64, the PlayStation won hands down.