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

Italia64

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Jun 2, 2015
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I started reading this topic a few weeks ago and read a few pages here and there, eventually reaching the end. It was interesting, but wow some of you wear your bias on your sleeeve! His name escapes me now but somewhere between page 15 and 20, if i saw this guys name I just skipped everything he said. The one that said the n64 controller is the best ever made and the first dual analog controller (wah??).

I guess those digital c-buttons somehow count as a second analog stick...if thats the case then the dualshock 2 has 4 analog controls. Since the dpad and face buttons were all analog =/
I don't remember that post, perhaps he meant that N64 is been the first console that allowed gamers to play with double analog, that's true regarding Goldeneye 007 (you can play the game with double controller and it works very good). Otherwise he was definitely wrong.
 

Italia64

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Jun 2, 2015
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Here some further proofs about the N64 graphical superiority.

From IGN review:

VIGILANTE 8: 2nd OFFENCE
Graphics
Luxoflux, V8's designers, attempted to make this second game more uniform across all platforms, which is a very good thing considering that this year the benchmark wasn't N64 performance but rather the more powerful Dreamcast. That means that Luxoflux overextended themselves on the N64 while aiming for Dreamcast quality, and the system seemed to be able to catch up with their ambitions. V8 2nd on N64 is so sharp and fast that it can stand side-by-side with the Dreamcast game. While the original looked like an improved PS game, the new game features lighting effects on cars, vast draw distances, and complex level architecture. Everything explodes with magnificence, just like last time, only this year the framerate has been locked down better. Effects are pushed to the maximum, with gentle waves lapping the shores of beaches, sharks and ghosts prowling their respective turfs, rough seas tossing your skiboat vehicle, lights with sharp lens flares (the sun has its own heliosphere effect), and working gondolas, trucks, trains, boats, ect. One weapon sends ripples through the ground of the entire arena surface, like somebody had picked up the floor and shook it like a carpet. The tearing problems of the PlayStation game, which left a jagged impressionistic mess when up close on an object, don't factor in to this game, although the lack of texture space can be seen even though the game can be bumped up to an incredible ultra-high resolution setting (which is developer-English for high-res/640x480). Framerate is fairly solid throughout the single player game (there's a drop when you up the resolution, but the difference can be quickly overlooked once in battle).

GRAPHICS
Sharp and full of effects, this game rivals its Dreamcast counterpart, not that measly PlayStation.

...and about the PlayStation version:

The game still looks nice once you settle into it, but the flaws are amplified this year, and (compared to other systems) the PS version suffers the worst hit of all editions of the game.

An amazing effort on the PlayStation, but not much better than last year, and not at all favorable compared to other systems.



SPIDER-MAN
This superhero has never looked better, and the N64 version meets and exceeds its PSX predecessor on all fronts.


SHADOW MAN
I played both the Nintendo and PlayStation versions one after another while I was at home and they simply don't compare in graphics, sound, gameplay, control, you name it. First, the PlayStation version was so dark on my TV that I had to crank the brightness to the maximum. That didn't work at all, so I closed the shutters and turned off all the lights reduce the glare, but that didn't work either. That's when I discovered that the N64 version had something the PS version didn't have, an in-game brightness meter in the option menu.

ROADSTERS
The N64 version of this game looks better. MUCH better.


IGN on GAUNTLET LEGENDS PS1:
If you have all of the systems, than you should get the Nintendo 64 version. If not get this one, you'll enjoy it, especially with a friend.


RESIDENT EVIL 2

Gamespot:
The graphics are even more of a wonder. If you use the N64 expansion pak, the visuals are bumped into hi-res mode, making them look even better than those in the PlayStation version. But even without the pak, they're still very impressive. Sometimes, the backgrounds look washed out while the characters remain brightly hued, making them stand out strangely, but it's a very rare occasion when that happens. The game's frame rate also slows down a bit when numerous monsters are onscreen at once, but not enough to affect gameplay. And though the computer-generated FMV sequences look grainy in comparison with the PlayStation version, they still look fantastic considering the cart format.

IGN:
A beautiful PlayStation game made to look even better with high-resolution graphics and smoothed out backgrounds. FMV is still a bit grainy, as are some in-game textures


As I often say, play both version watching them one near to the other on CRT, will immediatly let understand how much the N64 version is visually better. There's no even something to talk about, it's day and night noticeable better.
But it's pretty obvious, try to image the same game on 640x480 and on the other side at half of the res.
But PS1 fanboys, as usual, tend to focus on less important details or crap quality YouTube comparation videos (what's the sense to compare at the same resolution a game that runs on double resolution?).


Gamespot on ALL-STAR BASEBALL 2000
If you're familiar with the All Star series then you already know about the hi-res graphics that give the game its amazingly realistic look; for those who aren't, let me explain. Put simply, All Star Baseball 2000 is far and away the most visually impressive baseball game ever. The animations of the players running, walking up to the plate, diving, and everything else look so incredibly lifelike it's ridiculous. The game has an overall crisp look that, combined with unbelievably smooth polygonal player models, makes the game look more like a CG intro than an actual playable game.

I say guys, play this game on a good CRT for 640x480 res, and after the intro you completely forgot PS1 graphics.


Gamespot on ALL-STAR BASEBALL 2001
Enhancing the gameplay, All Star Baseball 2001's visuals are crisp, clear, colorful, and full of depth. The polygon count for stadiums is high, allowing for advertising banners, scoreboards, and even the occasional diamond-vision screen. Furthermore, player models are realistically dimensioned and styled, animating in ways one would usually reserve for broadcast television. Since sky and outside visuals are made up of flat background images, there are times when the illusion of a 3D environment is broken, but compared with the PlayStation's offerings, this game's a masterwork.


Gamespot on ALL-STAR BASEBALL 99
Visually, All Star Baseball is a masterpiece. It looks a bit like Quarterback Club on the N64, only smoother. You can see the players' faces, the wrinkles in their jerseys, and multiple shadows from the stadium's various light sources. It's uncanny how much the stadiums in the game look like their real-life counterparts. The signs hanging around the parks, the jumbotrons, and even the scenery visible over the walls of the park are accurate. Ultimately, it's the player animations that give the game its amazing look. There are over 100 different batting stances and over 600 unique motions, including catcher collisions, wall catches, sliding catches, running throws, the jump-pivot throw at second base, player injuries, dives, kneeling throws, and more than 30 catch types. All of the action can be seen from several different user-specified camera positions, although at some points in the game the camera angle will change to a fixed TV-camera-style position for dramatic effect. The sound and music are quite good. Most notable is the two-man play-by-play announcing by John Sterling and Michael Kay. They spout off over 1000 different calls and comments. Although it can be a little dry, the announcing really gives the game some authenticity.

Gamespot on FIFA 99
Of course, the 64-bit version of FIFA outshines the PlayStation version in the graphics department. The textures for the field and stadiums come close to photo quality, and the player shadow effects look convincingly real. There's never any polygon flicker or breakup during a game.


Gamespot on FIFA 98
EA's latest version of FIFA looks fantastic on the N64, taking advantage of the machine's powerful antialiasing hardware to create some of the most solid polygonal athletes in sports gaming.

Anyone still doubts?
 
Likes: DT MEDIA

Italia64

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Jun 2, 2015
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Gamespot:
There's a reason why Acclaim has never brought Turok, its well-known first-person shooter series for the Nintendo 64, to the PlayStation. Why? Because the system doesn't handle the 3D world very well, and the company cares enough about the brand name of line not to malign it with a clearly substandard effort.
 

Italia64

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Jun 2, 2015
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Gamespot on RAYMAN 2

The backgrounds in the levels have been conveniently hidden, and you can no longer stand on a ledge and simply look out over the whole level - now you'll find that all sorts of suspiciously placed objects keep you from noticing the sometimes plain backgrounds.


Taking everything the N64 and Dreamcast versions have to offer and squeezing it into the PlayStation was no easy task, and there have definitely been some changes. Aside from the obvious graphical and audio hits, the gameplay simply isn't a detailed as it was in the other versions. The levels have been shortened significantly, and some are even broken up into several areas that load as you progress through them. Additionally, several of the game's levels have been completely reworked, and as a result some major gameplay elements from the levels of the other versions are simply missing in those of the PlayStation version. Most of the levels are simpler and don't offer anywhere near the challenge the other versions' levels did. The PlayStation version of Rayman 2 almost feels like a CliffsNotes version of the Dreamcast or N64 game at times - the basic plot and gameplay is still there, but you lose a lot of the subtle nuances that really make playing the game worthwhile.

Still, Rayman 2 is one of the best platforming experiences available on the PlayStation. As long as you're not directly comparing it to the other versions of the game, the PlayStation Rayman 2 is an excellent, worthwhile game that is not only challenging, but is also rewarding. But when compared directly to the other versions, it's easy to see that this Rayman is the runt of the litter. By including a wonderfully humorous story, excellent game mechanics, and solid graphics and sound, Ubi Soft has created a game that appeals to all types of gamers and shouldn't be overlooked by gamers who only own a PlayStation. But those of you who own multiple platforms should definitely pick up the N64 or Dreamcast version instead.
 

Italia64

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Jun 2, 2015
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IGN on Supercross 2000 N64
We highly recommend using the high resolution mode when you're running the single player Freestyle mode, and scoff at your PSX-loving buddies when you do so because there's simply no comparison.

Other multiplatform games better or much better on N64 were:

007 The World is Not Enough
South Park Rally
WWF Attitude
WWF War Zone
San Francisco Rush
Rainbow Six
Nightmare Creatures
NHL Breakhaway '98
NHL Breakhaway '99
NFL Blitz, NFL Blitz 2000
NFL Blitz 2001, Madden 99
Madden 2000, Madden 2001
Madden 2002
Lego Racers
South Park
Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000
Hydro Thunder
Glover
Forsaken
World Cup 98...

...and many others
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Those quotes about N64 superiority... wow.

Anyway, N64 is probably better when it comes to graphical capability but that damn cartridge pretty much limits what it could do graphically.
 
May 11, 2011
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Those quotes about N64 superiority... wow.

Anyway, N64 is probably better when it comes to graphical capability but that damn cartridge pretty much limits what it could do graphically.
Um, no? It (cartridges) limits sound quality and the use of video, but no N64 game that rendered 3D graphics was achievable in that form on PSX or Saturn.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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I wonder how good a "modern" N64 game could theoretically look.

I'd like to see a homebrew tech demo made with a 1GB flash cartridge, a 16mb RAM expansion pack and modern development techniques...
 
Jun 10, 2013
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I remember that at the time I could only afford one console. When Mario 64 came out I saw it in a small gameshop running and sold my PlayStation to be able to buy Mario 64. But after that I saw Edge's Gran Turismo review and sold my N64 to buy back a PlayStation again to be able to play that game (to bits).
 
Oct 4, 2009
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Surprised it wasn't Italia64 to have bumped the thread after months of inactivity lol

To be fair pretty much no other N64 game looked as good as Mario64 either...
If we talk about art design you can have a point however there are technically more advanced games on N64 like for example Banjo-Kazooie which are clearly (from a technical point of view) a step above.
 
Feb 6, 2012
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If we talk about art design you can have a point however there are technically more advanced games on N64 like for example Banjo-Kazooie which are clearly (from a technical point of view) a step above.
I don't think any 3D N64 game ever had animation and a framerate as good as Super Mario 64. The way the camera intelligently glides with the player is really something, too. It's just so wonderfully fluid and solid-looking.
 
Oct 4, 2009
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I don't think any 3D N64 game ever had animation and a framerate as good as Super Mario 64. The way the camera intelligently glides with the player is really something, too. It's just so wonderfully fluid and solid-looking.
I'm not dissing Super Mario 64 but developers, just like happens to any other console in history, learned how to use N64 hardware through the years to get technical achievements unthinkable at launch.
For example World Driver Championship wasn't feasible at N64 launch.
 
Feb 6, 2012
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I'm not dissing Super Mario 64 but developers, just like happens to any other console in history, learned how to use N64 hardware through the years to get technical achievements unthinkable at launch.
I fully agree. N64 was able to do much, much more impressive things than SM64 later in its life when it came to modelling, lighting, environments and so forth, but SM64 is relatively unique in that its (in the grand scheme of things) lo-fi expectations allowed it a level of speed and smoothness we sadly never saw again from the console. Every game after SM64 pushed N64 hard, and it struggled in the performance areas where SM64 excelled, presumably being seen as a satisfactory trade-off. I do sometimes wish they'd have been able to carry on making games which looked and felt like SM64 did, but what with PlayStation and Saturn's CD capability having texture and model space to burn, N64 had to make sacrifices to compete.

While it didn't have RGB at stock, a modded one can have RGB, thankfully mine is modded for RGB.
Almost all of the N64s imported into Europe for the US/JP/HK launch were modded for RGB, and they looked very good indeed.
 
Jun 18, 2005
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I fully agree. N64 was able to do much, much more impressive things than SM64 later in its life when it came to modelling, lighting, environments and so forth, but SM64 is relatively unique in that its (in the grand scheme of things) lo-fi expectations allowed it a level of speed and smoothness we sadly never saw again from the console. Every game after SM64 pushed N64 hard, and it struggled in the performance areas where SM64 excelled, presumably being seen as a satisfactory trade-off.
Agreed, to some extent. There are exceptions, though, like Doom 64, which is as smooth as any game. I've always felt much the same about that whole generation of consoles, actually. Many of my favorite Playstation games are first-gen games. A lot of later games that tried to do dynamic lighting, skinned models, and other more advanced software tech might have made games technically better, but not necessarily better games. Some key franchises improved with sequels (Tekken, Wipeout), but others should've maybe let the tech wait for better hardware.
 
Oct 4, 2009
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Every game after SM64 pushed N64 hard, and it struggled in the performance areas where SM64 excelled, presumably being seen as a satisfactory trade-off.
World Driver Championship performance are excellent, same for Forsaken 64 for instance.
I've found the framerate in Banjo Kazooie and Rayman 2 to be perfectly acceptable.

Now I don't know the framerate of every N64 game what I know is that Super Mario 64 ran at 30 fps.
3D games at 60 fps, such as F-Zero X and Mortal Kombat 4, were quite rare on N64 (well in the whole generation overall but especially on N64).
 

Easy_D

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So I thought the N64 was quite a bit more powerful but having stable polygons and perspective correct textures took a lot of processing time, which evened the two consoles out (ignoring superior image quality on the N64) Is that correct?
 
Dec 3, 2004
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The N64 was a lot more powerful.The PS1 could show more polygons, but those were lacking in visual effects that the N64 had. It had a higher RAM total and a much faster CPU. Plus the cartrige could stream images and textures into the system, which couldn't be done with a CD at the time.

Maybe it's just me though. But for some reason I thought the warping geometry of the PS1 and Saturn had a strange charm.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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Surprised it wasn't Italia64 to have bumped the thread after months of inactivity lol


If we talk about art design you can have a point however there are technically more advanced games on N64 like for example Banjo-Kazooie which are clearly (from a technical point of view) a step above.
Yeah, I bumped this thread by mistake when someone linked it to me in another post. I would say that Conker's Bad Fur Day was Rare's most technically impressive platform game on the N64. But I think the reason why Mario 64 just holds up better is because the game is not trying to do too much with the hardware.


Because a fixed perspective RPG is equivalent to a free roaming platforming game.

The environments in those games were just pre-rendered 2D backdrops with 3D models overlayed on top of them, FMV cutscenes and small real time environments with less than a dozen models on screen. You can;t really compare it directly to a fully 3D platformer. Maybe games like Crash, Spyro, Ape Escape or Soul Reaver would be better comparisons?
 
Nov 30, 2015
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This threads mentality is cool to see how people just seem to argue Graphics and Power, when back then, the PS1 used CD's, suddenly majority of games had brilliant audio quality, FMV's (in a passable form), etc, which made a big difference to games back then. Sadly no one really cares about Audio now, but back then it was clear that was a heavy pull for the PS1.