How much more powerful was the N64 compared to the PlayStation anyway?

Sep 20, 2009
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#1
All I knew back then was that it had twice the bits and assumed it had twice better graphics, but how do the two systems compare in terms of performance?

This is totally not an attempt to draw a parallel between Wii U and the next Microsoft and Sony consoles.
 
Sep 17, 2009
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#9
Terrible at particle effects, better at just about everything else.
The big thing the N64 struggled with (compared with the PS1) is the number of polygons, I believe. I don't think I ever read about the N64 having trouble with particles, especially from game experience.


This is what I've always wondered about. Why on earth do PS1 models do that freaky jig when they move/the camera moves compared to the N64?
The PS1 was incapable of providing perspective correction for the 3D graphics it showed on screen. So whenever the camera moved, you could see all the polygons warp and change form.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
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#10
Couldn't it crank out way more polygons per frame? It was just that it had such a weird...memory architecture? that it had to texture those polygons using hideous blurred crap and then somethingsomething fog
 

Man

Member
Sep 27, 2009
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#13
It's not that black and white but the N64 had Anti-aliasing and a Z-buffer(!) unlike the PS1 (the PlayStation had 'fake' 3D, due to lack of perspective correction you get warped textures when close to screen).

CD storage was the real tech winner really. The PS1 was also straight forward to develop for.
 

Yoshichan

And they made him a Lord of Cinder. Not for virtue, but for might. Such is a lord, I suppose. But here I ask. Do we have a sodding chance?
Sep 1, 2006
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#18
When I find a game on the N64 that's better looking than FFIX and Chrono Cross, I'll admit that it's a more powerful console.

Until then, I'm gonna be ignorant and say that the N64 was not more powerful!
 

JordanN

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2012
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#21
The big thing the N64 struggled with (compared with the PS1) is the number of polygons, I believe. I don't think I ever read about the N64 having trouble with particles, especially from game experience.
This was a coding issue, not hardware. When devs used the micro code, polycounts where a good jump from PS1.

See World Driver Championship which had high polycount and ran at a higher resolution (640 x 480 vs 320 x 240 PS1).
 
Sep 17, 2009
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#24
If it was more powerful it wasn't in an obvious or jaw dropping sort of way.
It definitely was back in the day, especially when everything back then looked like a beefed-up SuperFX game; compared to that, the N64's texture filtering, Z-buffering, and anti-aliasing made what you see on the screen look like a blurry boxy version of reality, as opposed to barely nothing resembling it.
 
Apr 11, 2008
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#25
I still love you, Saturn.

Remember, you still had the best console ports of Duke Nukem Forever and Quake, with real-time coloured moving light sources and an unshakable framerate that Nintendo and Sony owners could only ever dream of. You also had multicoloured transparencies in Sonic R that Mario Kart 64 was never able to match.

No bullshit, the Saturn was a weak 3D machine compared to the Playstation and N64, but Traveller's Tales and Lobotomy Software pulled off some goddamn miracles with Sonic R, Duke Nukem and Quake
.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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Surrey, BC
#26
When I find a game on the N64 that's better looking than FFIX and Chrono Cross, I'll admit that it's a more powerful console.

Until then, I'm gonna be ignorant and say that the N64 was not more powerful!
The early death may have been a factor but the PS1 had better looking games released. At the time I always found N64 games to look very flatly textured and lacking in detail.
 
Apr 11, 2008
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#33
Sonic R has the track draw in like 4 feet in front of you
I know, I'm just reliving my youth. It had pretty colours, for Saturn 3D it was impressive. I remember reading that its transparency effects in the final chaos emerald course hadn't been matched by the other two consoles at the time.

The Quake and Duke comments I stand by, those ports were legendary work. The Dev studio decided to rebuild both games in their Saturn-optimised Powerslave engine, and they were a joy to play.
 
Sep 17, 2009
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#34
Sega Saturn was great.

The early death may have been a factor but the PS1 had better looking games released. At the time I always found N64 games to look very flatly textured and lacking in detail.
The N64 did not have an early death by any stretch of the imagination.

Thanks to the large disc space of PS1 games allowing to store larger textures and full motion video, you could have more "detailed" graphics on the PS1; but something about the N64 doing everything in real time seemed more impressive to me.
 
Aug 21, 2011
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#35
I think N64 had a seriously low-res texture limit. Something around 64x64 and 128 at very rare cases. That really bogged down the graphics and at a time when pre-rendered backgrounds were still big, this made them look really bad at times.
 

JordanN

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2012
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#37
When I find a game on the N64 that's better looking than FFIX and Chrono Cross, I'll admit that it's a more powerful console.

Until then, I'm gonna be ignorant and say that the N64 was not more powerful!
PSone had Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, and Final Fantasy, and all of them hold well compared to the N64. Oh and FMVs and prerendered backgrounds on the PSone helped a lot to even the field.
Oh wow. You have to be lying to yourself if you think PS1 games were as clean and presentable as this.


Instead, you got the definition of low res.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
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#38
I still love you, Saturn.

Remember, you still had the best console ports of Duke Nukem Forever and Quake, with real-time coloured moving light sources and an unshakable framerate that Nintendo and Sony owners could only ever dream of. You also had multicoloured transparencies in Sonic R that Mario Kart 64 was never able to match.

No bullshit, the Saturn was a weak 3D machine compared to the Playstation and N64, but Traveller's Tales and Lobotomy Software pulled off some goddamn miracles with Sonic R, Duke Nukem and Quake
.
So I learned just recently that the Saturn used rectangles for polygons?
 
Sep 13, 2007
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#40
Time spent waiting for games to load or time spent waiting for games to release on a dead system. Late 90s system wars ahoy!
And yet I revisit the top few games in my N64 library more often than my entire PS1 collection combined. No denying the N64 had some awful droughts, but at the end of the day I'd still give its library the nod based on the insane longevity of its flagship titles.
 

dimb

Bjergsen is the greatest midlane in the world
Dec 22, 2007
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#41
When I find a game on the N64 that's better looking than FFIX and Chrono Cross, I'll admit that it's a more powerful console.

Until then, I'm gonna be ignorant and say that the N64 was not more powerful!
Is this like a real post that I am actually reading?
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
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#45
I know, I'm just reliving my youth. It had pretty colours, for Saturn 3D it was impressive.

The Quake and Duke comments were serious though, those ports were legendary work. The Dev studio decided to rebuild both games in their Saturn-optimised Powerslave engine, and they were a joy to play.
Yep, I owned the Saturn version. The n64 version was censored. My little self was looking at teetays in the Saturn version. Shakeitbaby
 
Sep 17, 2009
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#46
Oh wow. You have to be lying to yourself if you think PS1 games were as clean and presentable as this.
Instead, you got the definition of low res.
Well, to be fair, a lot of it has to do with nostalgia. What you grew up with you ended up preferring.

Looking back, the graphics of Gran Turismo are not that appealing, and the (at the time) disappointing visuals for Mario Kart 64 hold up very well, ironically because of the sprites (the very reason many thought it had cheap graphics at the time).
 
Sep 15, 2011
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#47
Oh wow. You have to be lying to yourself if you think PS1 games were as clean and presentable as this.


Instead, you got the definition of low res.
Well I never said one was better than the other, rather there were games on the PSone that held up, and many of those games were helped by FMVs and prerendered backgrounds. You sound a bit insecure, don't worry I am not dogging the N64.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#49
Well, to be fair, a lot of it has to do with nostalgia. What you grew up with you ended up preferring.

Looking back, the graphics of Gran Turismo are not that appealing, and the (at the time) disappointing visuals for Mario Kart 64 hold up very well, ironically because of the sprites (the very reason many thought it had cheap graphics at the time).
Gran Turismo was also attempting to look realistic, and those games tend to age very poorly. But Crash Team Racing on the PSone holds up very well.
 
Dec 12, 2008
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up my ass
#50
Growing up in the N64 vs PS1 era, I remember it well

The main characteristic of N64 graphics were that it specialized in polygons, and had anti-aliasing, but very low res and stretched out textures and lots and lots of fog

PS1 had at times, more stuff happening on screen, but it was jaggy city but people forgave that to a certain degree