North American Prototype of the N64DD found in Seattle

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Chary
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    A former game developer from Sierra, and avid game collector, Jason Lindsey, has made an interesting find this week. He claims to have purchased an American prototype of the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive, an N64 add-on that never made it's way out of Japan. Apparently, only 50 of the units still exist in the wild, and were used at Nintendo of America (in Redmond Washington, a short drive from Seattle where they were found) during a 1997 Developer's Conference. It seems these systems were not dev consoles, but actual retail prototypes, meaning sadly they cannot play developer software. Which leads us to the most important discovery: There was a blue disc inside the unit, and these blue discs are only used for in-development N64DD games. Lindsey says he's currently trying to find a way to see just what mystery game is on that disc, and will make a video when he unearths more information.

    Interesting changes from the Japanese N64DD units:

    Instead of kanji characters asking to players to insert a disc, this system's boot up screen is entirely in English.

    The sticker on the underside reads "Nintendo 64 Disk Drive", instead of the final build's DD64.

    It also is dated 1997, (which matches up with the aforementioned conference) while the Japanese consoles are dated from 1999.

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    :arrow: Source
     


  2. Dorimori

    Dorimori professional lurker

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    Last edited by Dorimori, Jul 14, 2016
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  3. Youkai

    Youkai Demon

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    Lol how they always "find" these things XD
     
  4. RemixDeluxe

    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'm more interested to know if there was anything else included such as an Alpha build of Zelda Ura or maybe Mother 64.

    Was there anything valuable on that blue disk or is that just preloaded tools for the dev kit? I hope the buyer makes a video showcasing all this.
     
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  5. Trolling

    Trolling This Username is taken. Problem?

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    I found the lost ark yesterday in my uncles basement. He works for Sony so that makes sence.
     
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  6. TVL

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    To me it is a bit weird how scratched that thing is. I would guess it'd be boxed away somewhere until found, not used every day by some kid. Also is it common to make the labels found on the bottom, serial number and all that on prototype hardware? I'm suspicious.
     
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  7. DrCrygor07

    DrCrygor07 Italian Wario Ware bootleg©

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    Or even better Mario 64-2 :O
     
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  8. FAST6191

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    Nice find, would not mind a peek at the PCB but it would probably not be anything special like it might be for a PAL model or something.

    A demo model of a failed prototype/never made it to market of a failed type of device (how many console addons have ever worked?) aimed at a device which was not a success (and the N64 was not) hardly warrants the careful treatment in the eyes of many. Stick it with the nice hard tipped cables in a cardboard box and into the attic is how a lot of this sort of thing goes. You or I might get excited or curious but for the average business wonk it is not anything to note beyond the spreadsheet for that year/period.
    The labels on the bottom are in Japanese so yeah they probably shipped a couple of those over and depending upon the type of prototype (and mass demo is higher on that list) I have seen them have all kinds of serials.
     
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  9. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    I love these kinds of discoveries.
    Obscure gaming yay!

    I second that.
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Chances are that the PCB is identical to the Japanese one, aside from the Famicom/NES and the SuperFami/SNES Nintendo releases pretty much identical systems all across the board. The one notable exception is the Chinese DS line which has an additional chip that stores all the characters IIRC.
     
  11. Boured

    Boured The most perverted furry

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    That's pretty cool, it sucks that the Disk Drive failed. We could have had some more awesome games for the N64 for it.
     
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Nah - the "discs" were slower than the cartridges and still had much lower capacity than CD's (64MB IIRC), history shows that proprietary media like this always fails. When pirates made a better add-on for the N64 than Nintendo, you know they really screwed the pooch with the DD. They should've just made a CD add-on and roll with that instead of reinventing the wheel. Early Internet connectivity was cool, but never fully utilized - we had to wait for the Dreamcast to get that.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_V64
     
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  13. Boured

    Boured The most perverted furry

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    Got ya, thats kind of funny :3
     
  14. Dr.Hacknik

    Dr.Hacknik Maniac | Dev | A Fellow (lewd) Megumin

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    Wait, what type of Connection does the Drive use? Sata 1 (Maybe)? if so, you might be able to replace it with a old Disk Drive.
     
  15. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    SATA???

    Would have been an extremely pioneering device if it was using SATA, considering the standard didn't come about until about 20 years later!

    Even if it did, the media is clearly proprietary, so there's no compatible media readers to swap with.
     
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  16. Dr.Hacknik

    Dr.Hacknik Maniac | Dev | A Fellow (lewd) Megumin

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    Understood, i played a lot of N64 games, but i never got under the hood. :P
     
  17. VashTS

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  18. Darkyose

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    Well NX64...
     
  19. Mikemk

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    You mean I can't use my SSD yet? :cry:

    Silly Samsung, should've used a standard which has been been released for connecting their SSDs.
     
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