Best way to play N64 games on TV on a budget?

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by nixzero, Sep 12, 2012.

Sep 12, 2012
  1. nixzero
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    Newcomer nixzero Member

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    Like the title says, I am looking for a cheap way to play my N64 games on my TV. There seem to be a lot of options, but the fact that I am on a TIGHT budget should help narrow things down. Note that my PC does not work well with my TV and is not really an option, plus I'd prefer something that's more plug and play (no messing with plugins).

    First off, here's what I have at my disposal:
    N64
    Soft-modded Wii
    Modded Xbox
    Xbox360 - Unmodded but open to the idea

    Going thru the list here's what I've been able to find:
    N64 Flashcarts: While most have excellent compatibility, they're not perfect and are EXPENSIVE. The big plus is they use the original hardware and controller.
    Wii: Spotty compatibility. Only 41 games are available as WADs (slightly more if you count injected ROMs) Wii64's compatibility was lacking.
    Modded Xbox: Emulation compatibility seems acceptable, but many games are still unplayable.
    Xbox360: Like on original Xbox, emulation compatibility seems acceptable, but many games are still unplayable, but community is more active.

    I've heard that N64 emulation on the PSP is pretty good, and the PSP does have TV output. The portability factor is also nice, and a used PSP is cheaper than a flash cart.

    Any advice is welcome!
     
  2. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    N64 emulation on the PSP is NOT pretty good as far as comparing it to other N64 sources.
    http://forums.daedalusx64.com/compat.php
    Anything in the yellow/orange/red category has either serious glitches, or doesn't run at all... and you can see how many fall into that category.
    Even when games run, it's recommended to use frameskip and/or disable the audio for playable speed in many popular games.
     
  3. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    i was going to say use your pc to emulate them but you don't have your pc hooked up to your tv? if your tv has hdmi out, get a cheap graphics card from a second hand store or something for $50 and put it in your pc, install project 64 and you are done, that is your only option atm.

    the n64 flashcarts are way too expensive and only offer composite out on a modern tv which is not really the best setup, project 64 offers much more options including HD textures and built in gameshark and action replay if you want to mess around in a few games plus you can hook up a wireless controller easily to the pc too.
     
  4. The Real Jdbye

    Member The Real Jdbye D:

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    I was going to suggest Wii64 but I see you already tried that. Wii64 will run games better than the PSP (almost no games run fullspeed on PSP).

    If you care about compatibility, the cheapest way is probably just getting a HDMI cable and hooking up your PC to it. If your TV doesn't work well with that, it could be due to the type of cable (if you're using VGA, a lot of TVs won't support the proper resolutions and you get a stretched image), or it could simply be your TV not liking PC resolutions.
    If you have a HDTV and haven't already tried using a HDMI cable I would suggest that, it's more likely to work well with the TV as long as you choose normal HDTV resolutions (1080p/720p).

    You don't really have any other options than using your PC if you care about compatibility. Nothing comes close to Project64 in that aspect. It also works well without messing with plugins, though there are certain problem games that require other plugins or specific settings (but the plugin support is what makes the compatibility so high, anything without plugins is going to have limited compatibility)
    You can also get N64 controller to USB adapters for a reasonable price, so you can use original controllers.

    So it all comes down to pretty much 2 choices: Get a N64 flashcart, or connect your PC to the TV. Those are your cheapest options with high compatibility.
     
  5. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Your best option is to use your Wii or Xbox.

    360 is very limited and Mupen360 doesn't run that great at all.
    Atleast that's my experience.

    But if you want perfect "emulation" then you should buy the games.
    Emulation will pretty much never be perfect so there will be some flaws and glitches.
     
  6. nixzero
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    Newcomer nixzero Member

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    Thanks for the advice, guys. Looks like PC is definitely the way to go. I've been spoiled by being able to play most of my roms/isos on the original hardware, but N64 emulation seems to have come a long way. An N64 flashcart would be nice, but at those prices I may as well just buy up all the actual carts!

    As for the PC-to-TV hookup, you're absolutely right, Jdbye, my laptop only has VGA out, and it takes me a good 10 minutes of fiddling to get it working on my TV.

    However, one other thing I have at my disposal is my PC-based MAME cabinet. I already have it hooked it up to my TV and stereo, so I can switch between playing games on the cab or on a TV using wireless controllers. I didn't mention it before because it needs a new CPU, plus it has other shortcomings. It tends to overheat (hence the dead CPU), is a bit slow with PSX/N64/Saturn games, and using 360 controllers can be a PITA on that machine. I had planned on replacing it with a new PC when I find a new job, but I may fix it after all. The software is already setup (assuming the new CPU install won't force me to reformat), so if I got a faster CPU, some new fans, and some gamepad adapters, I would be golden.

    My only other issue with the PC option was fiddling with all those plugins, but I guess it's not as bad as I was making it out to be, and I'm sure I can find suggestions online.
     
  7. jefffisher

    Member jefffisher GBAtemp Maniac

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    if you played every game available on virtual console on it, every working injected wad that you could, got conkers and banjo remakes for xbox and xbox360, played the remaining games on surreal64 and wii64.
    the very few games that wont work on all those that you'd actually have to buy would cost under $100 if you wanted every one of them, a few notable expensive ones are $15 battletanx 2, $9 blastcorps,$14 donkey kong 64,$27 pokemon stadium 1&2. and $8 jet force gemini.
    even all that isn't very much money spent and that's only if you really want to play all those games, and probably your cheapest option.
     
  8. DaggerV

    Member DaggerV Archmagi of the Emerald Moon

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    I need to get myself a flashcart for N64, I'm waiting for the day I want to sit down and play it again. It'll come.
     
  9. Janthran

    Member Janthran Solarian

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    And if you do this, plug in a 360 controller. It's better, trust me.
     
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  10. ouch123

    Member ouch123 GBAtemp Fan

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    I think it's mostly been said already (use your PC and PJ64) but I'll just add some other notes.

    If your TV is an old CRT, you could always invest in a VGA-Composite/Component converter, but this may blow your budget.
    If your TV is digital, many modern sets support VGA. I'm guessing you already checked though.
    If you have strange compatibility issues with whichever controller you ultimately use, JoyToKey is your friend.
    Moon jump is awesome.

    Good luck!
     
  11. DaggerV

    Member DaggerV Archmagi of the Emerald Moon

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    Doesn't project N64 have a lot of compatibility issues as opposed to a good flashcart?
     
  12. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    PC + HDMI/VGA cable + Controller is your best bet.
    You can't just "plug in a 360 controller" nowadays - they're no longer made to work in wired mode, the cable they come with is merely for charging purposes. He'd have to buy a USB 360 controller, which makes all the difference.
     
  13. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    A wireless 360 controller is great thing too, since it works both wired and non-wired (and charges itself when wired, and has great life if you stick it on charge each night)... but then there's the issue of getting a decent wireless adapter, and with off-brands you often need to do a little fiddling with driver properties to get the damn thing to install (though as long as i don't move the wireless adapter to another USB port it functions fine).
     
  14. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    Ther is a offcial wireless adaptor that you can buy seperately or buy with a xbox 360 controller for pc, also you can't charge a wireless 360 wired unless you buy the rechrgable battery pack seprately and then connect the charger into the battery pack, thats not really playing wired though.
    I've only needed to plug in the wireless reciver once when i brought it i quickly installed the drivers and forgot it was there, just put it in a usb slot on the back of the computer and you're done.

    Also if the OP is worried about cost of the charger packs you can get cheap third party ones that seem to do the same thing as the offcial ones and cost less.
    Also there is a problem with OOT and rumble on the 360 pad but it can resolved very easily by installing some extra drivers so the 360 pad rumble is dected properly in project 64.

    (Btw OOT looks goregous with max settings in 1080p, even better than a HD remake LOL)

    And XD your sig is funny rydian.

    Any other questions OP just ask and i'll reply if i see them.
     
  15. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I really don't see a point when most laptops are compatible with Bluetooth and there's a myriad of Bluetooth-based controllers, including the PS3 controller. The 360's "radio" controller was a missed idea in my opinion - it merely forces you to buy an adapter that will serve the purpose of connecting the controller and that purpose only. With Bluetooth, you get a tad more freedom, even if it's not built-in and you need to get a USB dongle.
     
  16. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    I got the "charge and play pack", it's the wireless controller, battery, and the cable, and the cable indeed charges it via USB on my PC.

    I got the controller for the 360 (before figuring out I wouldn't be able to fix the RRoD).
     
  17. Janthran

    Member Janthran Solarian

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    My friend bought one off Ebay just to use on his computer, and he doesn't know squat about games.
     
  18. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    yeah that is the one i am talking about.
     

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