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Alternate History: If the N64 had featured a CD-ROM drive...

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KingJ2002

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If Nintendo went CD... it would be a very different industry

let's see...

Nintendo retains third party support... but holds back system growth due to a focus on experiences and less about power

Sony would have never come out with the playstation... instead being a key partner for Nintendo

  • Nintendo 64 with a Sony CD drive
  • Nintendo Gamecube with a Sony DVD drive (instead of panasonic)
  • Nintendo Wii with a Sony Blu-Ray Drive


Nintendo would have remained as arrogant as ever and probably would have turned off many developers such as bioware, red storm, rockstar etc from leaving the PC space.

Sega's Saturn would have still been a disaster

Dreamcast would have also tanked and Nintendo would be the only console in the industry.

Microsoft would have strengthen their hold on PC gaming

Smartphone gaming begins

Apple releases iOS platform.

Microsoft joins in an creates Xbox platform to counter Apple

Google joins in with Android platform to counter Microsoft & Google

Many US & European third party companies develop titles for Apple, Microsoft & Google digital platforms leaving Nintendo out saying (disc based gaming is dead.... digital / streaming is the future)

All three companies eats into Nintendo's bottom line

Nintendo tries to keep up but does not have financial muscle that the other companies have

Nintendo goes third party

Gaming becomes a bullet point for PC / Mobile industry.


Honestly... Nintendo not going CD is the best thing to happen to them. Their failures made them re-evaluate their business, their third party relations, and keep them competitive. The gamecube failure led to the Wii... and the Wii U's failure will lead to their next great system. That reflection gave them longevity and their own niche in this business. Not one of their competitors can do what nintendo is doing right now.

Which is keeping their gaming division afloat without third party support.
 
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Bangai-O is a great game, i just play the superior DC port is all
The Dreamcast is a next-gen machine, that's obviously going to be able to do better. But do you think the PS1 or Saturn could have handled Bangaioh as well as it is on N64? :)

as usual, your argument really has no ground to stand on though - yes, ABF, i'm using games which exist as proof of my argument, where you have your intimate knowledge of the N64 library & still can't draw from much to substantiate your point.
There's enough that has been mentioned to show the N64's capabilities. That's all that is needed; "but it should have had more 2d games" is irrelevant to the point, which is about what the N64 could do. Why do you seem to be saying that having more 2d games means that a system has better 2d graphics, or something? That's kind of silly.

tech comparisons aren't a simple binary; different things to play to different strengths. you believe your N64 was capable of creating better 2D games, i point to a library on the saturn's end vs this belief.
Your problem there is that that does absolutely nothing to disprove the point; "but the Saturn has good 2d games" doesn't refute the fact that the N64 is a powerful console, it just shows what the Saturn can do! The two things are different questions.

I'm not going to convince you of this truth, and given your praise of the N64's library vs even the PSX (which is categorically insane), really, i should know better.
I think your bias against the N64 is a lot stronger than mine towards it, really. It's very telling that you think that such a crazy statement...

but to refute your point: devs did make a handful of 2D games for said system, and they don't look as good/hold up as well, which to me would be a logical point to concede vs lol lazy devs didn't want to make that style of games i guess. kinda done here man, do your thing.
I have no clue what you're talking about here, except surely some N64-bashing, because the 2d games the N64 has hold up great. As has already been pointed out, Bangaioh's volume of sprites and graphics are quite impressive for the generation. Doom 64's sprites looks a lot better than the Doom games on other platforms that gen. Puzzle games on the N64 look just as good or better. Rakuga Kids looks fine compared to similar lower-tier fighters on the other platforms. Yoshi's Story has better graphics than most 2d games that generation. The storybook-style cutscenes in those other games I mentioned also are quite nice. KI Gold and MK Trilogy both look and play great on the N64; the only possible complaint for either game are the cuts, but that only happened because they were very early games on 8MB carts. Later 2d fighting games would have been on larger cartridges and wouldn't have needed as many cuts. Etc, etc. N64 2d games look every bit as good or better than 2d games on the other systems that generation, there just are very few of them because that's not what developers wanted to make on the platform.

On the note of storybook-style games on the N64, in addition to Yoshi's Story and Paper Mario, here's Alice Wakuwaku no Trump World 64. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnAI6TuKG8w I like the way the scenery bounces around, good stuff. :) It's a pretty good-looking game. I actually own it. (It's easier to figure out which card game is which with the manual, it's got info for all of them there...)

And here's Dr. Mario 64. Somewhat similar style. (Of course, Paper Mario also feels a bit like this.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOWjg_uHqIA


Seriously, your claims here that N64 2d games "don't look as great" and "don't hold up as well" as 2d games on the other platforms are ridiculous and completely unfounded. It's too bad that you are apparently too biased against the N64 to pay attention to what the 2d games on the system do. As far as 2d graphics go, the main thing the N64 doesn't have is a 2d fighting game with animation as impressive as Capcom's 4MB cart required Saturn fighters, but with the Expansion Pak, the N64 could of course have matched that no question. They just needed Capcom or SNK to actually care about the N64... but they didn't, sadly enough. :( And nobody else could make 2d fighting games on that level.
 

iidesuyo

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As far as 2d graphics go, the main thing the N64 doesn't have is a 2d fighting game with animation as impressive as Capcom's 4MB cart required Saturn fighters, but with the Expansion Pak, the N64 could of course have matched that no question. They just needed Capcom or SNK to actually care about the N64... but they didn't, sadly enough. :( And nobody else could make 2d fighting games on that level.
I repeat myself, but again: those games would have needed absurdly large cartridges for their time, as long as you don't want to cut animations, music and voices.

Some late Neo Geo CD like Last Blade 2 had animations cut despite a 7 MByte RAM of the NGCD and horrible loading times. Neo Geo had 600+ MegaBit games.


The Saturn versions were the best, you had super short loading times combined with CD sound.
 

Alex_Mexico

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It's more interesting to think what would've happened if Nintendo hadn't backstabbed Sony and actually released the Play Station add on for the SNES.

And to those saying Mario 64 and Zelda OoT couldn't have been made on CD I call bullshit. Besides having better music, sound effects, textures (man I hated the N64's blurry mess), and yes longer loading times that's not to say it couldn't be made. Not to mention the general additional variety OoT could've had by having a single 680 MB of disc memory at their disposition versus the puny 32 MBs they had to work with in a cartridge.
 
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I repeat myself, but again: those games would have needed absurdly large cartridges for their time, as long as you don't want to cut animations, music and voices.

Some late Neo Geo CD like Last Blade 2 had animations cut despite a 7 MByte RAM of the NGCD and horrible loading times. Neo Geo had 600+ MegaBit games.


The Saturn versions were the best, you had super short loading times combined with CD sound.
The SNES has a not-too-bad (considering the hardware) version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 that fits onto a 4MB cartridge. An N64 version would have had 8MB at least, if it had released at the same time. Don't say the N64 couldn't have had good versions of most fighting games from that era!

Also, once again, with compression I imagine it'd probably be possible to fit even the largest Neo-Geo games onto N64 carts, at least later on in the N64's life.

It's more interesting to think what would've happened if Nintendo hadn't backstabbed Sony and actually released the Play Station add on for the SNES.
Ugh, why do people keep repeating this? Nintendo didn't backstab Sony, they discovered that Sony had a clause in the contract that would give Sony all licensing fees for SNES CD titles, or something along those lines! Of course that was unacceptable. Nintendo did the only thing they could, at that point.
 

Alex_Mexico

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If Nintendo went CD... it would be a very different industry

let's see...

Nintendo retains third party support... but holds back system growth due to a focus on experiences and less about power

Sony would have never come out with the playstation... instead being a key partner for Nintendo

  • Nintendo 64 with a Sony CD drive
  • Nintendo Gamecube with a Sony DVD drive (instead of panasonic)
  • Nintendo Wii with a Sony Blu-Ray Drive


Nintendo would have remained as arrogant as ever and probably would have turned off many developers such as bioware, red storm, rockstar etc from leaving the PC space.

Sega's Saturn would have still been a disaster

Dreamcast would have also tanked and Nintendo would be the only console in the industry.

Microsoft would have strengthen their hold on PC gaming

Smartphone gaming begins

Apple releases iOS platform.

Microsoft joins in an creates Xbox platform to counter Apple

Google joins in with Android platform to counter Microsoft & Google

Many US & European third party companies develop titles for Apple, Microsoft & Google digital platforms leaving Nintendo out saying (disc based gaming is dead.... digital / streaming is the future)

All three companies eats into Nintendo's bottom line

Nintendo tries to keep up but does not have financial muscle that the other companies have

Nintendo goes third party

Gaming becomes a bullet point for PC / Mobile industry.


Honestly... Nintendo not going CD is the best thing to happen to them. Their failures made them re-evaluate their business, their third party relations, and keep them competitive. The gamecube failure led to the Wii... and the Wii U's failure will lead to their next great system. That reflection gave them longevity and their own niche in this business. Not one of their competitors can do what nintendo is doing right now.

Which is keeping their gaming division afloat without third party support.
I think you're confused.

This alternate history is one where Nintendo released the N64 with a CD-ROM drive but still backstabbed Sony and thus infuriated that company that would eventually go on to launch the PS1. In this scenario Sony would still launch their console even if Nintendo decided to go with CDs. Remember the PS1 launched in Japan before we even knew what medium would be the N64 games on. There's no credible tidbit here to think Sony would've gone back to Nintendo's side.

However. A different story would be if the alternate history was that Nintendo never backstabbed Sony and indeed released the Sony Play Station addon for the SNES. Then your speculations of a joint Sony-Nintendo N64 and a Bluray toting Wii could be true.
 

Alex_Mexico

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Ugh, why do people keep repeating this? Nintendo didn't backstab Sony, they discovered that Sony had a clause in the contract that would give Sony all licensing fees for SNES CD titles, or something along those lines! Of course that was unacceptable. Nintendo did the only thing they could, at that point.
Whatever the case that doesn't erase the fact that on a Las Vegas CES Sony unveiled and announced the SNES Addon when, unknown to them, Nintendo had been in talks for months with Philips only to debunk the Play Station ONE DAY after Sony showed it only to say "oh that? Yeah we're not making that. But Philips is our new best friend!"

That's what I call a backstab. Nintendo should've known better before signing a contract that have so much control to Sony. They definitely not handled this well at all
 

Crimson_Fate

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The SNES was the last Nintendo console I ever owned. When they confirmed that they would stick with propitiatory cartridges for the 64 I jumped ship to the Sega Saturn.

Nintendo got greedy selling their propitiatory media to the publishers.

Even their next GameCube used propitiatory mini discs . They couldn't let it go.
 

iidesuyo

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Ugh, why do people keep repeating this? Nintendo didn't backstab Sony, they discovered that Sony had a clause in the contract that would give Sony all licensing fees for SNES CD titles, or something along those lines! Of course that was unacceptable. Nintendo did the only thing they could, at that point.
???

So if someone is to stupid to read a contract they suddenly can shy away from it? And by the way, later they pissed off Philips. Nintendo somehow thought they could piss off everyone left and right and get away with it.

The SNES has a not-too-bad (considering the hardware) version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 that fits onto a 4MB cartridge. An N64 version would have had 8MB at least, if it had released at the same time. Don't say the N64 couldn't have had good versions of most fighting games from that era!
The SNES version was okayish for SNES standards despite the loading times, I played it. But we're running around in circles. To you it's ok to cut content, downgrade sound and animations, to me it's not. Could 2D games be ported to the N64? Yes they could, somehow, just like downgraded ports were released for the PS1 and SNES.
 
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???

So if someone is to stupid to read a contract they suddenly can shy away from it?
Um, yes, of course. The product hadn't been released yet, so of course Nintendo could change their mind once they realized how Sony was trying to steal the SNES from them!

And by the way, later they pissed off Philips. Nintendo somehow thought they could piss off everyone left and right and get away with it.
Nah, they just decided that they didn't need a CD addon after all. And indeed they did not.

The SNES version was okayish for SNES standards despite the loading times, I played it. But we're running around in circles. To you it's ok to cut content, downgrade sound and animations, to me it's not. Could 2D games be ported to the N64? Yes they could, somehow, just like downgraded ports were released for the PS1 and SNES.
First, you continue to overstate how many cuts would actually be needed. With twice as much space as the SNES version, SFA2 could probably have had no significant cuts, for instance. And for later, larger titles, N64 carts got bigger! The 32MB and 64MB carts that became available in late '98 and '99 could have covered pretty much any 2d arcade fighting game that gen. Sure, games would need compression, but major cuts like you suggest here? Doubtful.

Also, having actual games which exist is better than not having games. The N64 has zero fighting games from Capcom and SNK, the two leaders in '90s 2d fighting games. I think it should be fairly obvious that having actual games from them would have been better than getting nothing, regardless of how arcade-perfect the ports are.
 

iidesuyo

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Also, having actual games which exist is better than not having games. The N64 has zero fighting games from Capcom and SNK, the two leaders in '90s 2d fighting games. I think it should be fairly obvious that having actual games from them would have been better than getting nothing, regardless of how arcade-perfect the ports are.
But think about the point of this thread. Had the N64 featured a CD-ROM, it would stand on par with the Saturn, and your hypothetical ports could have actually existed. Without any downgrades.

There's a reason these games never appeared on the N64, not even SFAII or III.
 

MrCunningham

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Even their next GameCube used propitiatory mini discs . They couldn't let it go.
They completely sidestepped around using CDs' all together. I'm sure that the Mini Disc size was used to circumvent piracy, and it did achieve that for the most part. But I also get this feeling that Yamauchi had some personal grudge against Sony and didn't want to use Sony technology in any future Nintendo related products. He seems like the type of guy that would do something like this to me.

The GameCube disc and drive were developed by Matsushita/ Panasonic, and they continued to use Panasonic to make offshoots of existing disc formats for them. The Wii discs are based on DVD, but didn't use DVD components, and their Wii-U discs are apparently Blu-Ray without the licensed BR components. Nintendo never paid licensing fees to the DVD Forum or Blu-ray Disc Association, something that Sony is a main head of in both those foundations.


I would think that any vaguely modern computer could do Saturn games just fine... my circa-'07 Core 2 Duo can do Saturn emulation pretty well, after all.
Most dual core machines should be able to handle Saturn emulation pretty well, you can even get away with emulation on a Pentium4 3.0ghz class machine, but even that is really pushing it as you would have to keep most OS background processes to a minimum. I still remember running PlayStation emulators of a 566mhz Celeron with a GeForce 2 and 256mbs of RAM. They didn't run great, but they still ran. Sega Saturn emulation requirements are so much higher than that, the fact that you need a dual core machine to get smooth emulation says something. Even N64 emulation, I could get most games to play from a single core 1.5GZ laptop with an intel graphics core and 2GB of system memory... though some games like Perfect Dark and Goldeneye do still need some really high requirements for some reason.
 

cartman414

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Whoever failed to read that clause is who really screwed over Nintendo, but regardless it is on Nintendo. Not only that, but the insulting way they ended the deal didn't help. They were embarrassed. IIRC, the way they found out was when Nintendo announced the Phillips deal, days after Sony announced their partnership with Nintendo. There is no way to spin this in Nintendo's favor, they were complete assholes towards Sony and refused to negotiate fairly with Sony so they jumped ship. They created their own terrible situation.
IIRC Nintendo did try at first, but Sony refused to budge.

Square stopping all Nintendo developed games in favor for their recently created rival more than likely did make Yamauchi pissed. No doubt the other stuff fueled that fire even more, but he clearly wasn't happy with it. But he did that to himself.
Yamauchi's resigned attitude has been publicly quoted ("the decision couldn't be helped") and was what ticked off the head of Squaresoft, causing him to convince Enix to abandon N64 for PSX, and that's what really got the former pissed.

Most people don't understand that Nintendo WANTED to go with CD-ROM even after the Sony and Phillips debacle. The problem is they pissed everyone that manufactured the technology and were forced to go with cartridge. With the fallout of the Sony and Phillips backstabbing, those companies also convinced Matsushita (Panasonic) to avoid making a deal with Nintendo.
Except that they did reconcile with both Sony and Philips and for a time had that system in development with both until Sony decided to go it alone. Nintendo still went at it for a while, but decided on carts at the end of the day.

And you might as well blame Sony as much for their unscrupulous deal. They're not complete victims, though they played themselves as such.
 

Ishida

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Ugh, why do people keep repeating this? Nintendo didn't backstab Sony, they discovered that Sony had a clause in the contract that would give Sony all licensing fees for SNES CD titles, or something along those lines! Of course that was unacceptable. Nintendo did the only thing they could, at that point.
That clause was in the contract from the very beginning. Nintendo acknowledged, accepted and SIGNED the contract.

Sony did not add any extra letters after Nintendo signed. Only some time later they realized how stupid they were and tried to fix it by breaking the contact.

So yes, Nintendo actually backstabbed Sony.
 

PHOENIXZERO

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Square would have left regardless due to all the shit they had to deal with from Nintendo an N64 with a CD drive would've been a different system spec-wise, especially if they still wanted to hit the $199.99 price point, a lot of those formerly exclusive Nintendo third parties that jumped ship were only waiting for the chance for what they considered a viable alternative, which in the eyes of some Sega was probably not because of its own problems when it came to the people in charge in Japan and the mess that the Saturn was, never mind the turning public perception of Sega after the two quickly abandoned add-ons.A lot of them were already fed up with the way Nintendo did business in the NES and SNES days, that said Square and Enix both had problems with storage limitations of carts and Nintendo's unwillingness to work with them. I still wish we could get a good Secret of Mana/SD2 remake with HD sprites with the full vision of the game realized as it was conceived back when it was being designed around the SNES CD add-on though at this point the people there might not know or have notes to go on... And it's Square-Enix in 2014...

At this point I think a much more interesting "what-if" would be if Sony and Sega had ended up partnering for a 32-bit console.
 

Celine

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Disadvantages:
-Nintendo wouldn't have worked hard to produce more 1st party games to cover the lack of games.
Yep, Nintendo reaction to losing third-party support was to ramp up first party development (N64 success in America meant N64 was mostly supported by american publishers).

Nintendo software prominence on N64 was so crazy high that more than 53% of whole software sold on the system was Nintendo published games.
I think that's the only time ever in a mainstream console that first-party software sales accounted for more than 50%.

 

SeventhSon

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Yep, Nintendo reaction to losing third-party support was to ramp up first party development (N64 success in America meant N64 was mostly supported by american publishers).

Nintendo software prominence on N64 was so crazy high that more than 53% of whole software sold on the system was Nintendo published games.
I think that's the only time ever in a mainstream console that first-party software sales accounted for more than 50%.

The pre-crash consoles had near 100% "first-party" games.

Before the NES, there was no such thing as third party games, not in the sense of licensees.
 

Celine

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The pre-crash consoles had near 100% "first-party" games.

Before the NES, there was no such thing as third party games, not in the sense of licensees.
Of course I'm talking post-NES.
Earlier consoles lived off mostly first party games (Famicom first year was comprised of just Nintendo games for instance) though Atari 2600 definitely had third-party games (Activision etc.).
On mainstream consoles is easy to understand why it is to be expected that majority of the total software sold would be by third-parties games since they outnumber first party games.
That didn't happened on N64 though.

- no way Squaresoft would have dared to take the risk to develop for the PS1
- many more developers would have supported it
- Nintendo could have countered the low license fees of the PS1
- with the RAM expansion the N64 would have been on par with the Saturn 2D games

Going with cartridges was a stupid idea. Later ones even had loading times because they had to be decompressed.

If the multiverse theory is not just bullshit, I'd love to travel to a universe where there was a CD-ROM N64.
This is why "Alternate history" threads aren't interesting.
Most of the posts usually aren't grounded in reality.
 

SeventhSon

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Of course I'm talking post-NES.
Earlier consoles lived off mostly first party games (Famicom first year was comprised of just Nintendo games for instance) though Atari 2600 definitely had third-party games (Activision etc.).
The Activision Atari VCS games weren't "third party." They were unauthorized, the nearest analogy is "unlicensed."

Before Nintendo entered the industry, the console maker would itself license properties for their own development and publishing, such as Atari licensing Space Invaders and Pac-Man from Namco, or Coleco licensing Donkey Kong from Nintendo.

No other publishers were authorized to produce games for the systems, the business model was only the platform owner could sell games. The crack in this was the absence of effective lock-out techniques which allowed unauthorized games, like the Atari porn games and Activision games.

I guess I'm nitpicking, but it's not accurate to talk about "first-party" and "third-party" relationships before NES.
 

ShinUltramanJ

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Regardless of whether they went with a CD Rom, Nintendo was still a good year and a half late to the party.

I don't believe Square would've stayed with them exclusively, as Nintendo was losing their iron grip. They were no longer the dominant force in the industry.
 

ShinUltramanJ

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The Activision Atari VCS games weren't "third party." They were unauthorized, the nearest analogy is "unlicensed."

Before Nintendo entered the industry, the console maker would itself license properties for their own development and publishing, such as Atari licensing Space Invaders and Pac-Man from Namco, or Coleco licensing Donkey Kong from Nintendo.

No other publishers were authorized to produce games for the systems, the business model was only the platform owner could sell games. The crack in this was the absence of effective lock-out techniques which allowed unauthorized games, like the Atari porn games and Activision games.

I guess I'm nitpicking, but it's not accurate to talk about "first-party" and "third-party" relationships before NES.
Activision was most certainly a third party, as was Parker Bros, Coleco, Imagic, M-Network, and others.
And while Coleco licensed Donkey Kong from Nintendo, they released the game on not only their hardware, but also Atari's. Third parties like Parker Bros licensed games like Popeye and Froggers and published it on every format there was.
 
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Activision was most certainly a third party, as was Parker Bros, Coleco, Imagic, M-Network, and others.
They weren't console third parties, exactly, though, not in the modern sense. None of them paid licensing fees, the concept didn't exist yet! They were "third party", in that the games weren't from Atari itself, but they weren't third-party console games in the way we understand them, because they were, by the first party's way of thinking, unwanted unlicensed games they'd try to block if they could. Activision was to Atari as Tengen was to Nintendo: an unlicensed company making glorified pirate games, pretty much. So yeah, it's "third party", but a very different kind of third party from the one generally meant by the term!

And while Coleco licensed Donkey Kong from Nintendo, they released the game on not only their hardware, but also Atari's.
Yeah, they did this because, in a time before licensed third parties, releasing your games on the other systems made some sense because that actually made you some money, unlike unlicensed external games on your own systems, which get the hardware maker nothing.

That clause was in the contract from the very beginning. Nintendo acknowledged, accepted and SIGNED the contract.

Sony did not add any extra letters after Nintendo signed. Only some time later they realized how stupid they were and tried to fix it by breaking the contact.

So yes, Nintendo actually backstabbed Sony.
This is nonsense! Sony got greedy and tried to steal the SNES CD from Nintendo, hoping it wouldn't be noticed, but Nintendo eventually did notice it, and ended the project there as a result. That's 100% Sony's fault. Sure, it's unfortunate that Nintendo didn't notice before it was signed, but they couldn't have been expecting Sony to try to pull something so ridiculous...

But think about the point of this thread. Had the N64 featured a CD-ROM, it would stand on par with the Saturn, and your hypothetical ports could have actually existed. Without any downgrades.
The N64 has better hardware than the Saturn as it is, though, so I'm not sure what your point is here. If it's about licensing and manufacturing fees, as we see with the Gamecube, Nintendo would have had the highest fees anyway, carts or discs, so they'd probably have seen less third-party support regardless.

There's a reason these games never appeared on the N64, not even SFAII or III.
It's entirely about licensing fees and cost of making cartridges; it's got nothing to do with hardware limitations. Carts are just fine for 2d fighting games.
 

Badenergytroll

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I remember when i got an N64, my brother said; "All those sweet super nintendo games moved to playstation". I was gobsmacked. "WHAT!". Only owned 2 N64 games and started saving for a playstation. God i was so much happier when i got it.
 

taps

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I remember when i got an N64, my brother said; "All those sweet super nintendo games moved to playstation". I was gobsmacked. "WHAT!". Only owned 2 N64 games and started saving for a playstation. God i was so much happier when i got it.
lol he never said that.
 

Chitown B

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The SNES was the last Nintendo console I ever owned. When they confirmed that they would stick with propitiatory cartridges for the 64 I jumped ship to the Sega Saturn.

Nintendo got greedy selling their propitiatory media to the publishers.

Even their next GameCube used propitiatory mini discs . They couldn't let it go.
The GC discs were less about IP and more about stopping piracy. As anyone at Sega would agree with being a good idea.
 

NoMoChokeSJ

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I worked at a Software Ect when the original PS released. It was games like Resident Evil that drove the hype for the machine more than the CD Rom. Nintendo's issue with the N64 was that they were stagnating with their software, while the PS1 was edgier and more adult. I don't think the CD rom would've saved the N64. Just look at what were huge sellers on the gamecube... Eternal Darkness and RE4.... people wanted more than Mario and censored Mortal Kombat.
 
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64DD games require the 4MB RAM Expansion Pak to work, and they do have load times. So yeah, you're right, they did manage to get Mario 64 to work on 64DD... but with loading, and it requires more RAM too, since you surely need to load more stuff than you would on cart. The entire game of Mario 64 is only 8MB, and the system with RAM addon has 8MB of RAM, so you could put like half of the game into memory, assuming that it uses the other half for other stuff (since Mario 64 was originally designed for 4MB of RAM). Of course all that loading will take a while, but... well, look at 64DD or Famicom Disk System game videos, the games have load times. 64DD load times aren't too long, but they are longer than cart game loading usually is.

...thats the 64DD, not a CD drive. Sorry, but its irrelevant.

64DD is based on magnetic discs, not optical media, and as such of course the loading times will be acceptable.
I'm not sure how access times compare for magnetic disks versus CD discs, actually... are disks faster? They do have load times too, though.
 

iidesuyo

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This is nonsense! Sony got greedy and tried to steal the SNES CD from Nintendo, hoping it wouldn't be noticed, but Nintendo eventually did notice it, and ended the project there as a result. That's 100% Sony's fault. Sure, it's unfortunate that Nintendo didn't notice before it was signed, but they couldn't have been expecting Sony to try to pull something so ridiculous...
What the heck? "It's unfortunate that Nintendo didn't notice before it was signed, but they couldn't have been expecting Sony to try to pull something so ridiculous..."

What you mean is: Nintendo is to stupid to read contracts before they sign them, and then try to fuck over both Sony and Philips.

They "backstabbed" Sony, it's that simple. The deal was done. No need for rewriting history in Yamauchis favour! That guy knew exactly what he was doing, but pissed off the wrong guys in the end.
 
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What the heck? "It's unfortunate that Nintendo didn't notice before it was signed, but they couldn't have been expecting Sony to try to pull something so ridiculous..."

What you mean is: Nintendo is to stupid to read contracts before they sign them, and then try to fuck over both Sony and Philips.

They "backstabbed" Sony, it's that simple. The deal was done. No need for rewriting history in Yamauchis favour! That guy knew exactly what he was doing, but pissed off the wrong guys in the end.
Sony backstabbed Nintendo by inserting a blatantly unfair clause in the contract. You're trying to let Sony off the hook for some very unsavory moves they tried to pull. It's not Nintendo's fault that Sony tried to rip off Nintendo; that's Sony's fault, 100%.

Also, Nintendo didn't really "backstab" Phillips, they just chose to not continue with the SNES CD project, because they decided it wasn't really needed, as it wasn't. Phillips did get something out of the deal, of course, in the rights for their four Mario and Zelda games on CD-i.
 

Log4Girlz

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It's entirely about licensing fees and cost of making cartridges; it's got nothing to do with hardware limitations. Carts are just fine for 2d fighting games.

Yea didn't Capcom almost go bankrupt with one of their SF games on SNES because they over ordered carts?
 

Trike

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IIRC Nintendo did try at first, but Sony refused to budge.



Yamauchi's resigned attitude has been publicly quoted ("the decision couldn't be helped") and was what ticked off the head of Squaresoft, causing him to convince Enix to abandon N64 for PSX, and that's what really got the former pissed.
Nintendo had to negotiate with Sony because they made their sound chip for the Super Nintendo and could potentially hurt the production of new SNES consoles. Not only that, but Sony technically still had the rights to create their own machine that could play SNES games. After some random crap, Nintendo, Phillips, and Sony came together to after the requests of having an industry standard CD (opposed to Sega's, Sony's, Phillips, etc) and both parties wanting to not entirely burn bridges. Their machine never came to fruition, due to the SuperFX chip being good enough to have them rework their project, as well as the time and development costs. But in the end, Nintendo pulled some high-class lawyering that left them faultless with Sony even after the Phillips backstab, and also left Sony somewhat happy with them getting the profits of non-game CD software like movies, music, and edutainment. Even if it never came to be.

So they were able to negotiate, but Nintendo wanted nothing to due with their old deal and went behind Sony's backs to do some shifty shit. Which brings me to this load of crap:

Sony backstabbed Nintendo by inserting a blatantly unfair clause in the contract. You're trying to let Sony off the hook for some very unsavory moves they tried to pull. It's not Nintendo's fault that Sony tried to rip off Nintendo; that's Sony's fault, 100%.

Also, Nintendo didn't really "backstab" Phillips, they just chose to not continue with the SNES CD project, because they decided it wasn't really needed, as it wasn't. Phillips did get something out of the deal, of course, in the rights for their four Mario and Zelda games on CD-i.
Nintendo is a company of adults that were allegedly highly litigious at the time, it is their fault that they did not read the contract they signed. This was the same contract they were okay with for three years. Here is an abridged timeline.

198X - Kutaragi buys his kid a Famicom, is disappointed with cartridges and the sound chip. He decides to approach them independently and make a new sound chip. Sony didn't know this at first and was pissed, but they eventually were brought on board. This is the SNES sound chip.
1988 - Nintendo and Sony sign a contract that Nintendo should have read/not signed.
1991 - Nintendo realizes said mistake, goes behind Sony's back and stabs them with the most painful knife that is Phillips, their competitor and a foreign company.

So as you can plainly see in the timeline, Nintendo stabbed Sony in the back. Sony had some hilarious clauses in there that Nintendo just apparently was okay with or only saw dollar signs. Furthermore, they only wanted to use Phillips as a bargaining tool to get Sony on board with more reasonable terms. Nintendo could have avoided this whole mess by reading that contract more carefully. Even if they couldn't come to terms with that agreement in 1988, there is a good chance that Sony wouldn't have entered the the gaming space. That was almost entirely Kutaragi's idea for the direction of Sony. I wouldn't go as far as saying that they screwed over Phillips, but using them to get back at Sony is a pretty lousy thing to do.
 

Ishida

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Jun 14, 2013
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This is nonsense! Sony got greedy and tried to steal the SNES CD from Nintendo, hoping it wouldn't be noticed, but Nintendo eventually did notice it, and ended the project there as a result. That's 100% Sony's fault. Sure, it's unfortunate that Nintendo didn't notice before it was signed, but they couldn't have been expecting Sony to try to pull something so ridiculous...
.
How is it nonsense? The contract had everything that Sony planned to do. It was right there. Did Sony held Yamauchi at gunpoint and forced the Nintendo board to sign the contract? No.

Sony got greedy? Definitely. Was Nintendo fucking stupid for signing the contract? Yes, definitely. Was Nintendo in the wrong by breaking the contract like that, backstabbing Sony without even telling them and going to Phillips? You bet.

If Nintendo stabbed Sony in the back, Sony stabbed first.
Explain how.
 
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How is it nonsense? The contract had everything that Sony planned to do. It was right there. Did Sony held Yamauchi at gunpoint and forced the Nintendo board to sign the contract? No.

Sony got greedy? Definitely. Was Nintendo fucking stupid for signing the contract? Yes, definitely.
Nintendo wasn't stupid, no. They were probably just wrongly trusting that their then-partner Sony was actually acting in good faith.

Was Nintendo in the wrong by breaking the contract like that, backstabbing Sony without even telling them and going to Phillips? You bet.
Of course not. Sure, it was done in a classically Yamauchi kind of way, but the actual action, dropping Sony in favor of someone else, was the best possible course of action. When you find something like that in a contract for something which has not happened yet (the SNES CD, after all, was still in development), you find a way out of it, of course! That's exactly what Nintendo did. Of course no sane company would continue on with such a contract.

And again, it's not like just because they had signed a contract they HAD to make the thing; companies change their minds all the time.

Explain how.
Uhh,... this is very obvious. It was by putting the clause into the contract in the first place, of course! That was Sony betraying Nintendo, and hoping to steal Nintendo's console from it[; they were hoping that by the time Nintendo noticed the clause they'd feel they had to honor it. Fortunately Nintendo thought otherwise, because if Sony had been able to take all the licensing revenues from the SNES CD, it could have been very bad for Nintendo's profits if the thing had taken off.

Yea didn't Capcom almost go bankrupt with one of their SF games on SNES because they over ordered carts?
Did they actually almost go bankrupt? I don't know, but yeah, I do remember Super SFII selling much less than Capcom expected...

Nintendo is a company of adults that were allegedly highly litigious at the time, it is their fault that they did not read the contract they signed. This was the same contract they were okay with for three years. Here is an abridged timeline.

198X - Kutaragi buys his kid a Famicom, is disappointed with cartridges and the sound chip. He decides to approach them independently and make a new sound chip. Sony didn't know this at first and was pissed, but they eventually were brought on board. This is the SNES sound chip.
1988 - Nintendo and Sony sign a contract that Nintendo should have read/not signed.
1991 - Nintendo realizes said mistake, goes behind Sony's back and stabs them with the most painful knife that is Phillips, their competitor and a foreign company.

So as you can plainly see in the timeline, Nintendo stabbed Sony in the back. Sony had some hilarious clauses in there that Nintendo just apparently was okay with or only saw dollar signs. Furthermore, they only wanted to use Phillips as a bargaining tool to get Sony on board with more reasonable terms. Nintendo could have avoided this whole mess by reading that contract more carefully. Even if they couldn't come to terms with that agreement in 1988, there is a good chance that Sony wouldn't have entered the the gaming space. That was almost entirely Kutaragi's idea for the direction of Sony. I wouldn't go as far as saying that they screwed over Phillips, but using them to get back at Sony is a pretty lousy thing to do.
The primary backstab was the second step in your timeline, not the third. Sure, of course Nintendo should not have signed it, but burying a clause like that in the contract is what caused Nintendo to drop Sony. That makes it Sony's fault. Sony attempted to trick Nintendo out of its console; Nintendo eventually realized this and retaliated.
 

SeventhSon

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The contract would allow Sony to manufacture and sell SNES CD units, and I believe stand alone integrated SNES CD units, and maybe even stand alone SNES units, without paying one cent in royalties to Nintendo. Sony would also be have access to Nintendo IP and be able to manufacture carts for itself and third parties, IIRC.

The contract would essentially allow Sony to steal the SNES from Nintendo. That's a backstab.
 

Dehnus

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Saturn was a weird console. It had the worst architecture to work with back then (the quad rendering would have posed a challenge to the triangle based engines along with the complicated two CPU's). It was also designed with 2D in mind with 3D taking a backseat.

The Playstation was the reverse opposite (easier to work with, and built for 3D). Doing ports would still be profitable provided they sell.
THe Saturn was hard to program for, that is correct, but 3D did NOT take a backseat during the development of the system.

The 3D system of the saturn is the natural evolution of SEGA's Arcade based systems. They used a similar Quadrilateral (Not Quads) approach to 3D. Quadrilaterals can also be multi sided polygons, and thus can actually be far more efficient than Triangle based designs.

SEGA worked with Lockhead before to create this system, and it really wasn't as bad. The Playstation however just was simpler and better designed. If you wanted similar, or better, performance out of a Saturn you had to break a sweat. Not until the later Dev Kits arrived, which took some of that out of your hands, did the Saturn become easier to program for. But in the popper hands, the Saturn could sing like a canary, and sport visuals that make Birds of paradise blush.

But the system would fight you all the way to get there.
 

The Shadow

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People saying that a simple change from carts to CD would have changed everything pretty much ignore the fact that Sony worked REALLY hard to make PS1 a success that it was.

I really don't think it's that simple. It also ignores the fact that Nintendo had draconian terms with 3rd parties whereas Sony (and later Microsoft) was far more lenient with them. The way Nintendo treated 3rd parties still affects them to this day.

Edit:

And LOL to people who think Mario 64, etc, wouldn't be possible with CDs. Talk about buying into PR.
 

Trike

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Nintendo wasn't stupid, no. They were probably just wrongly trusting that their then-partner Sony was actually acting in good faith.


Of course not. Sure, it was done in a classically Yamauchi kind of way, but the actual action, dropping Sony in favor of someone else, was the best possible course of action. When you find something like that in a contract for something which has not happened yet (the SNES CD, after all, was still in development), you find a way out of it, of course! That's exactly what Nintendo did. Of course no sane company would continue on with such a contract.

And again, it's not like just because they had signed a contract they HAD to make the thing; companies change their minds all the time.


Uhh,... this is very obvious. It was by putting the clause into the contract in the first place, of course! That was Sony betraying Nintendo, and hoping to steal Nintendo's console from it[; they were hoping that by the time Nintendo noticed the clause they'd feel they had to honor it. Fortunately Nintendo thought otherwise, because if Sony had been able to take all the licensing revenues from the SNES CD, it could have been very bad for Nintendo's profits if the thing had taken off.


Did they actually almost go bankrupt? I don't know, but yeah, I do remember Super SFII selling much less than Capcom expected...


The primary backstab was the second step in your timeline, not the third. Sure, of course Nintendo should not have signed it, but burying a clause like that in the contract is what caused Nintendo to drop Sony. That makes it Sony's fault. Sony attempted to trick Nintendo out of its console; Nintendo eventually realized this and retaliated.
Again, what Sony did is in no way a backstab. Was it a dick move? Yeah, but one Nintendo should have found out about using basic reading skills. They also were not tricking Nintendo out of a console. They only stopped worked on the add-on once Nintendo announced the Phillips deal.
 

cartman414

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May 3, 2006
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The SNES was the last Nintendo console I ever owned. When they confirmed that they would stick with propitiatory cartridges for the 64 I jumped ship to the Sega Saturn.

Nintendo got greedy selling their propitiatory media to the publishers.

Even their next GameCube used propitiatory mini discs . They couldn't let it go.
Optical discs cost virtually the same to manufacture regardless of size. Apples to oranges.
 
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Again, what Sony did is in no way a backstab. Was it a dick move? Yeah, but one Nintendo should have found out about using basic reading skills. They also were not tricking Nintendo out of a console. They only stopped worked on the add-on once Nintendo announced the Phillips deal.
Sneaking in a clause which steals the console away from its actual owner is the very definition of a backstab. Come on.
 

Trike

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Sneaking in a clause which steals the console away from its actual owner is the very definition of a backstab. Come on.
Again, no. You can't "sneak in" a clause. Lawyers should be reading that shit extensively, not signing things and thinking about all the money they are going to make. Even if it was a shitty thing to do, it is no way a back stab. They are not going behind their back, like Nintendo did with Phillips. If anything they went up to Nintendo, presented them with a knife and said "is it okay if I stab you with this?" and Nintendo went "Sure". That is face to face, not in the back.

What Sony did was legal and presented to Nintendo. It was up to them to ensure that the contract was to their liking and fair. I'm not going to say that Nintendo is the victim when they did it to themselves. And I am not going to make Sony out to be the villain when they were the ones who got slighted by Nintendo. It's not complicated, it is Nintendo's fault. They have moved on, so should you.

Edit: Sony also didn't have a clause that steals away the console from Nintendo. Nintendo would just not be making nearly as much money due to Sony's control over the software licensing of the SNES-CD.
 

encephalon

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Feb 19, 2010
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Is there anyone who actually knows what the clause says? Are we anywhere near to knowing the truth of what happened, unfiltered by over twenty years of fanboy interpretations and retellings dating back to 90s websites void of citations?

The very idea of Nintendo signing a document without being precisely aware of it's content is implausible. It's more likely that they initially agreed to a plan and later changed their minds.
 

Ishida

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
14,294
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Nintendo wasn't stupid, no. They were probably just wrongly trusting that their then-partner Sony was actually acting in good faith.
Trust? Good faith? The clause was RIGHT THERE in the contract! How can you ignore that?!

The contract would allow Sony to manufacture and sell SNES CD units, and I believe stand alone integrated SNES CD units, and maybe even stand alone SNES units, without paying one cent in royalties to Nintendo. Sony would also be have access to Nintendo IP and be able to manufacture carts for itself and third parties, IIRC.

The contract would essentially allow Sony to steal the SNES from Nintendo. That's a backstab.
How is that a backstab? If I handed you a contract that says that I will give you a lollipop each month, and then at the end of the year I take your car away, and YOU READ IT AND SIGN IT and said: "Yep, seems good to me! I get a lollipop and you get my fucking car. Let's do this!", would it be a backstabbing on my end?

Nintendo read the contract and ACCEPTED THE TERMS.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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How is that a backstab? If I handed you a contract that says that I will give you a lollipop each month, and then at the end of the year I take your car away, and YOU READ IT AND SIGN IT and said: "Yep, seems good to me! I get a lollipop and you get my fucking car. Let's do this!", would it be a backstabbing on my end?

Nintendo read the contract and ACCEPTED THE TERMS.
Do you read every word of every clause of every EULA or licensing agreement you agree to?

If you don't, and nobody does, you have no grounds to claim that Nintendo missing that was somehow their fault, not Sony's for being so greedy as to sneak it in there.

But regardless, you're blaming the victim for the actions of the perpetrator! Someone who was poisoned isn't guilty because they didn't think to poison-check their food that a "friend" of theirs gave them...

Is there anyone who actually knows what the clause says? Are we anywhere near to knowing the truth of what happened, unfiltered by over twenty years of fanboy interpretations and retellings dating back to 90s websites void of citations?
It would be great if we did have the text, and Nintendo's explanation for how they didn't reject the contract back before it was first signed, but famously reticent Nintendo has, as you might expect, never shared either one. It is kind of annoying, they could have made the whole issue go away if they'd just explained the whole situation... but I don't think they did.

The very idea of Nintendo signing a document without being precisely aware of it's content is implausible. It's more likely that they initially agreed to a plan and later changed their minds.
No, the idea that Nintendo would ever agree to a deal which gives Sony the rights to all SNES CD licensing fees, AND the right to make their own SNES+CD units which they would pay Nintendo nothing for, is far more implausible than that they somehow missed it... I cannot imagine any circumstances where Nintendo would have said 'yeah, that's a fine clause, leave it in'. It's like the opposite of '80s Nintendo thinking! Which is, of course, part of why they got back at Sony as publicly as they did, Yamauchi was angry...
 
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