Nintendo 64 (which is usually called N64) is the third child of the Nintendo Company in the sphere of house video game systems (which is called consoles). Nintendo 64 appeared on June 23, 1996, in Japan on September 29, 1996, in North America, on March 1, 1997, in Europe and Australia and on September 1, 1997, in France. The prefix in Japan and North America was started only with two developed games: Super Mario 64 and PilotWings 64 while in Europe there was the third game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. At receipt of sale of Nintendo 64 cost $199.
For the first time, Nintendo 64 was presented to the public on November 24, 1995, as Nintendo Ultra 64 at the seventh annual Shoshican exhibition of software products in Japan. Though the first photos of this device were published in the American magazines on June 1993.
During development process, Nintendo Ultra 64 had the codename “Project Reality”. The name “Project Reality” appeared because of speculation in Nintendo that the processor that were capable to generate graphics (CGI) on an equal basis with the advanced computers of that time. Then manufacturers decided to change the name into Nintendo Ultra 64, indicating the 64-bit processor. To find more about Nintendo 64 technical features visit http://www.retropool.com/retrolink-nintendo-64-classic-review/.
On 1 February, 1996 Nintendo rejected the word “Ultra” from the name in 5 months prior to official release in Japan.
After the first announcement, two companies Rareware and Midway developed the arcade games Killer Instinct and Cruis’n USA. According to the statement of developers those two games was coded on the special equipment and used only Nintendo Ultra 64 technologies. Actually, it was far from the truth as arcades used hard drives and TMS processors. Killer Instinct was the most advanced game of the time in the graphic plan.
The first system, which was announced a 64 bit was Atari Jaguar (though it actually had two 32-bit processors and the 64-bit graphic processor).
Nintendo Ultra 64 was the last system applying cartridges for storage of games. Cartridges had the following advantages:
– ROM cartridges had a very high speed of loading, it allowed to avoid loading screens, which often appear on Sony Playstation, but were absent on Nintendo Ultra 64.
– ROM cartridges were very difficult and expensive to fake, unlike CD, which to copy at that time did not make special work. It allowed fighting against piracy.
– it was possible to add additional chips to cartridges (such as coprocessors) that allowed to add necessary properties to the device when developing new games.
– Many cartridges possessed the battery and allowed to remain directly in a cartridge. It allowed playing without expensive external memory cards.