N64 and PSX Confusion

Prior22

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I've always been under the impression that the N64 was more powerful than PSX (considering PSX is 32 bit and N64 of course is 64 bit). However the file sizes of PSX games are much bigger than N64 games (even with the same game for both consoles). So I suppose my question is how can the N64 be more powerful when its game file sizes are much smaller.
 

BlackWizzard17

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Simply because Nintendo used Cartridges that could barely handle up to 100mb(less) while the PS1 used Cd's that could hold up to 700mb without compressing the files.
 

sarkwalvein

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I've always been under the impression that the N64 was more powerful than PSX (considering PSX is 32 bit and N64 of course is 64 bit). However the file sizes of PSX games are much bigger than N64 games (even with the same game for both consoles). So I suppose my question is how can the N64 be more powerful when its game file sizes are much smaller.

What means to be more powerful?
That is an important question, and you should provide your definition to it, because on it depends the answer to your question.

Having more space for games (as in CD vs old cartridges) means you can cram more data into it, but it more data does not imply more power.
If you are talking about processing power, then it is a completely different thing and it does not depend on size of your data medium.
Actually, if your have less storage space you usually need to compensate with processing power. You need to compute more things real time, generate textures on software, use stronger compression algorithms, etc.
If you have more space you can store precomputed data, like lighting maps and textures, that would help achieving better results with less CPU power.
Of course, with more space you can store more video (PS1 games were plagued of videos).
 

Prior22

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Simply because Nintendo used Cartridges that could barely handle up to 100mb(less) while the PS1 used Cd's that could hold up to 700mb without compressing the files.

Its a shame Nintendo stuck with the cart format during the N64 era. It cost them a lot of exclusive third party content (especially from Square). Without that third party advantage I would think its safe to say Nintendo would have sold more consoles during that era (especially when you compare first party produced games from both companies).
 

Tom Bombadildo

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The same thing happened with the GC and the PS2, as well. The Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2, but because Nintendo opted for 1.5GB Mini discs for some awful reason, their games are a bit smaller as well compared to the up to 4GB DVDs Sony used.
 

Sakitoshi

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The same thing happened with the GC and the PS2, as well. The Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2, but because Nintendo opted for 1.5GB Mini discs for some awful reason, their games are a bit smaller as well compared to the up to 4GB DVDs Sony used.

that's only partly true.
The Gamecube was more powerful and could use disc space more wisely. GC could use compressed textures natively while the PS2 needed to use processing power to use them, for example.
now while that is true and many games looked better on GC while using less space(the Prince of Persia trilogy is a good example), some other games needed 2 discs on GC(Killer 7 and Resident Evil 4 comes to mind).

now talking more on topic. the N64 sure was more powerful, but at the end PSone games looked as good as N64 ones because of stupid decisions from the part of Nintendo.
The Nintendo 64 had a completely customizable CPU but Nintendo decided not to release the tools necessary to customize it allowing only some presets available for the developers to use. that coupled with the ridiculously small texture memory didn't allow the N64 to show off his true potential. latter on Nintendo decided to release to the developers the CPU customization tools(see games like Banjo Tooie, Conker Bad Fur Day and Battle for Naboo for reference) but was to late and the developers where rocking the PSone like a boss and doing impressive games also using the extra capabilities of the PSone like video playback and audio streaming.
 

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I always wondered why my 64 couldn't play a single video or even show animation let alone an actual picture but PSX did it all the time...
 

sarkwalvein

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I always wondered why my 64 couldn't play a single video or even show animation let alone an actual picture but PSX did it all the time...


It was able, the CPU was strong enough to decode MPEG1, even better than the laughable hardware based PS1 MDEC (MJPEG with make up) format.
The problem is that there was not enough space in the cartridge to store the videos...

PS: There are some N64 games with videos.
 

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