Quantcast
Alternate history: N64 goes with CDs instead of cartridges

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Alternate history: N64 goes with CDs instead of cartridges

What do you think would've been the outcome?

N64 would've won the gen 40 62.50%
 
PS1 still would've won 24 37.50%
 
Total:64
DonFerrari said:
PAOerfulone said:

Sony? Or Sega?

Genesis - 8.39 million units
NES - 8.3 million units
SNES - 8.15 million units

The European Console market nearly doubled with just Sega bringing the punch and actually outselling the SNES, which only sold just slightly less than the NES. Sega planted the seeds long before Sony brought the fertilizer.

Europe (and the entire market as a whole) was going to keep growing, expanding, and reach new heights with or without Sony. I'm not saying Sony wasn't a factor, they certainly were. But they weren't the huge different maker. A substantial part of the PS1's success and establishment came from Sony just being at the right place, at the right time, to take advantage of the mistakes of Nintendo and Sega, especially Sega. Sega's blunder was directly due to Sony. The main reason why Sega released the Saturn so early, shooting themselves in the foot in the process, was because they wanted to get a head start on the PlayStation in the Western markets, because both systems were already out in Japan for close to a year and the Saturn was actually outselling the PlayStation. However, by doing that, they completely blind-sided fans and retailers, they launched the system way too early with little to no important software titles to make an impressive launch, they completely killed the momentum they worked so hard to build with the Genesis, and that was the beginning of the end for Sega as a hardware developer. With no Sony, no PlayStation, and Nintendo's next system not due for another year, Sega could take their time and stick to the fall/holiday launch they originally had planned for the Saturn. Or maybe even delayed it to spring of '96 to make sure it was as ready as possible for the Nintendo 64's launch. Which means they wouldn't have pissed off the retailers, confused the fans, or squashed their hard-earned momentum. The Saturn would have been readily available in all retailers and markets instead of some, with a much stronger launch lineup, and the system would have sold significantly better than it did. (In fact, I think the Saturn would have outsold the Nintendo 64 in that scenario.) And today's Big Three would be Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sega. Or it might still be just Nintendo and Sega. Who knows? Sony definitely helped the market grow and expand at an exponential rate. Much faster than it would have if they didn't enter the console market, but the market was going to grow and expand regardless.

Any reason why do you think Sega would have become bright with N64-CD being a thing (so they would still have a CD company there to preassure them) or Sony not being in the Market?

They had early release of Genesis against SNES as well. So all point that Sega would have done basically the same mistakes.

About your expectations of Nintendo basically doubling their sales with the CD, what is your explanation that Nintendo having all advantages during SNES weren't able to significantly outsell Sega and why do you think the Europe and RotW would become much bigger sales to Nintendo? They simply didn't go there when they had Strong NES, competitive SNES and loser N64 so why in the alternate history would they also start caring?

I think we're putting too much of the value on the company and not the content. Some people are loyal to a brand but most just want the best content. There's been BS comments in the past l like "Xbox 360 just sells in North America because it's an American console" but no. People but the best product. The Genesis launched in 1989 in North America and it was obviously superior to the NES. It had the market to itself for over a year, unchallenged. Even when the SNES launched, the Genesis appeared to be the better product for a long time and up until the end got better versions of many multiplats. The thing is, Nintendo supported the SNES longer when it felt like Sega had already moved on. Their focus shifted to Sega CD to 32-X to Saturn. They quit being competitive. When you compare SNES and Genesis you have to keep in mind that you're comparing a console that seemed to quit fighting halfway through the battle---a lot like Xbox seems to do against PlayStation.

Again, using North America because I know nothing of Europe, the PS2 was the most successful console of all time. Everyone had one. How did it go from being so dominant to being outsold so handily in North America? Why did people suddenly start caring about the Xbox brand? And why did they suddenly go back to PlayStation a generation later? Same with Nintendo time and again. The name on the box matters much less than what the box has to offer.

If the N64 was able to offer a better experience than the PS1 (and being twice as powerful that would be a given) for the same price, that would be a given. Side by side, I think a lot of people would agree that Nintendo's first party content was overall superior to Sony during the 5th gen. Third parties won the battle for PlayStation the same way they made Xbox 360 a contender and the same way they made PS4 such a beast (though I will gladly admit that Sony really stepped up their first party game during the PS3 era and much of the PS2's lifespan). The N64's cartridge format just created obstacle after obstacle for developers.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

d21lewis said:
DonFerrari said:

Any reason why do you think Sega would have become bright with N64-CD being a thing (so they would still have a CD company there to preassure them) or Sony not being in the Market?

They had early release of Genesis against SNES as well. So all point that Sega would have done basically the same mistakes.

About your expectations of Nintendo basically doubling their sales with the CD, what is your explanation that Nintendo having all advantages during SNES weren't able to significantly outsell Sega and why do you think the Europe and RotW would become much bigger sales to Nintendo? They simply didn't go there when they had Strong NES, competitive SNES and loser N64 so why in the alternate history would they also start caring?

I think we're putting too much of the value on the company and not the content. Some people are loyal to a brand but most just want the best content. There's been BS comments in the past l like "Xbox 360 just sells in North America because it's an American console" but no. People but the best product. The Genesis launched in 1989 in North America and it was obviously superior to the NES. It had the market to itself for over a year, unchallenged. Even when the SNES launched, the Genesis appeared to be the better product for a long time and up until the end got better versions of many multiplats. The thing is, Nintendo supported the SNES longer when it felt like Sega had already moved on. Their focus shifted to Sega CD to 32-X to Saturn. They quit being competitive. When you compare SNES and Genesis you have to keep in mind that you're comparing a console that seemed to quit fighting halfway through the battle---a lot like Xbox seems to do against PlayStation.

Again, using North America because I know nothing of Europe, the PS2 was the most successful console of all time. Everyone had one. How did it go from being so dominant to being outsold so handily in North America? Why did people suddenly start caring about the Xbox brand? And why did they suddenly go back to PlayStation a generation later? Same with Nintendo time and again. The name on the box matters much less than what the box has to offer.

If the N64 was able to offer a better experience than the PS1 (and being twice as powerful that would be a given) for the same price, that would be a given. Side by side, I think a lot of people would agree that Nintendo's first party content was overall superior to Sony during the 5th gen. Third parties won the battle for PlayStation the same way they made Xbox 360 a contender and the same way they made PS4 such a beast (though I will gladly admit that Sony really stepped up their first party game during the PS3 era and much of the PS2's lifespan). The N64's cartridge format just created obstacle after obstacle for developers.

First paragraph I fully agree, perhaps Genesis could have ended first that gen if they haven't lost focus. But my point wasn't on that.

Yes the name of the box doesn't mater that much. Still the mentality of the company behind and as you said the contente mater. And that is why I pointed out that Nintendo wasn't really caring about Europe or RotW.

And here you on the last paragraph you are making more changes than just CD and plus are considering best case scenarios. Sure the first parties of Nintendo were regularly better that gen (although I wouldn't trade Gran Turismo and Syphon Filter for the catalog of N64), but we are speculating that with the CD Nintendo would have the edge and secure most 3rd parties. A thing they weren't able to do against Genesis when they had the same format and stronger HW and also a thing Nintendo didn't seem to show to care until WiiU or perhaps even Switch. And usually their care is minimal.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:
d21lewis said:

I think we're putting too much of the value on the company and not the content. Some people are loyal to a brand but most just want the best content. There's been BS comments in the past l like "Xbox 360 just sells in North America because it's an American console" but no. People but the best product. The Genesis launched in 1989 in North America and it was obviously superior to the NES. It had the market to itself for over a year, unchallenged. Even when the SNES launched, the Genesis appeared to be the better product for a long time and up until the end got better versions of many multiplats. The thing is, Nintendo supported the SNES longer when it felt like Sega had already moved on. Their focus shifted to Sega CD to 32-X to Saturn. They quit being competitive. When you compare SNES and Genesis you have to keep in mind that you're comparing a console that seemed to quit fighting halfway through the battle---a lot like Xbox seems to do against PlayStation.

Again, using North America because I know nothing of Europe, the PS2 was the most successful console of all time. Everyone had one. How did it go from being so dominant to being outsold so handily in North America? Why did people suddenly start caring about the Xbox brand? And why did they suddenly go back to PlayStation a generation later? Same with Nintendo time and again. The name on the box matters much less than what the box has to offer.

If the N64 was able to offer a better experience than the PS1 (and being twice as powerful that would be a given) for the same price, that would be a given. Side by side, I think a lot of people would agree that Nintendo's first party content was overall superior to Sony during the 5th gen. Third parties won the battle for PlayStation the same way they made Xbox 360 a contender and the same way they made PS4 such a beast (though I will gladly admit that Sony really stepped up their first party game during the PS3 era and much of the PS2's lifespan). The N64's cartridge format just created obstacle after obstacle for developers.

First paragraph I fully agree, perhaps Genesis could have ended first that gen if they haven't lost focus. But my point wasn't on that.

Yes the name of the box doesn't mater that much. Still the mentality of the company behind and as you said the contente mater. And that is why I pointed out that Nintendo wasn't really caring about Europe or RotW.

And here you on the last paragraph you are making more changes than just CD and plus are considering best case scenarios. Sure the first parties of Nintendo were regularly better that gen (although I wouldn't trade Gran Turismo and Syphon Filter for the catalog of N64), but we are speculating that with the CD Nintendo would have the edge and secure most 3rd parties. A thing they weren't able to do against Genesis when they had the same format and stronger HW and also a thing Nintendo didn't seem to show to care until WiiU or perhaps even Switch. And usually their care is minimal.

Let's say Nintendo couldn't secure most third parties. When you think of PS1 games that really made a difference, which games come to mind?

For me it's games like

-Tomb Raider (Eidos)

-Resident Evil (Capcom)

-Ridge Racer/Tekken (Namco)

-Metal Gear Solid (Konami)

- WipeOut (Psygnosis)

-Medal of Honor (Electronic Arts)

- Final Fantasy (Square)

I'm sure I'm missing some but you get the idea. When you think of these classics, you think of PlayStation. But what many don't think is that most of these companies were still in good with Nintendo. Almost all of them actually made content for the N64 or at least the Gameboy. They just didn't bring the "good stuff" most of the time because the N64 just couldn't handle it. So instead of Metal Gear, N64 got games like Castlevania 64. You didn't get Tekken, you got Namco Museum.

Maybe they wouldn't have gotten everyone on board but they already had most of the key companies on their side. It wasn't loyalty to Sony. It was loyalty to the only hardware that could run their games.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

d21lewis said:
DonFerrari said:

First paragraph I fully agree, perhaps Genesis could have ended first that gen if they haven't lost focus. But my point wasn't on that.

Yes the name of the box doesn't mater that much. Still the mentality of the company behind and as you said the contente mater. And that is why I pointed out that Nintendo wasn't really caring about Europe or RotW.

And here you on the last paragraph you are making more changes than just CD and plus are considering best case scenarios. Sure the first parties of Nintendo were regularly better that gen (although I wouldn't trade Gran Turismo and Syphon Filter for the catalog of N64), but we are speculating that with the CD Nintendo would have the edge and secure most 3rd parties. A thing they weren't able to do against Genesis when they had the same format and stronger HW and also a thing Nintendo didn't seem to show to care until WiiU or perhaps even Switch. And usually their care is minimal.

Let's say Nintendo couldn't secure most third parties. When you think of PS1 games that really made a difference, which games come to mind?

For me it's games like

-Tomb Raider (Eidos)

-Resident Evil (Capcom)

-Ridge Racer/Tekken (Namco)

-Metal Gear Solid (Konami)

- WipeOut (Psygnosis)

-Medal of Honor (Electronic Arts)

- Final Fantasy (Square)

I'm sure I'm missing some but you get the idea. When you think of these classics, you think of PlayStation. But what many don't think is that most of these companies were still in good with Nintendo. Almost all of them actually made content for the N64 or at least the Gameboy. They just didn't bring the "good stuff" most of the time because the N64 just couldn't handle it. So instead of Metal Gear, N64 got games like Castlevania 64. You didn't get Tekken, you got Namco Museum.

Maybe they wouldn't have gotten everyone on board but they already had most of the key companies on their side. It wasn't loyalty to Sony. It was loyalty to the only hardware that could run their games.

Your list is fairly accurate, yes it wasn't loyalty to Sony, but several of them were already tired of Nintendo. And if MS could moneyhat most of them to make multiplats even during Xbox original years I don't see why Sony wouldn't have done it to secure those titles.

It isn't really a case of just the CD made everything change, Saturn had CD and was a bomb worse than N64, so what is there to assure that Nintendo couldn't do even worse if they had gone with CD. Like a system that ended up worse and the Mario 64 and Zelda ended up being much worse game. It would be possible that their first year that was great became bad.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:
d21lewis said:

Let's say Nintendo couldn't secure most third parties. When you think of PS1 games that really made a difference, which games come to mind?

For me it's games like

-Tomb Raider (Eidos)

-Resident Evil (Capcom)

-Ridge Racer/Tekken (Namco)

-Metal Gear Solid (Konami)

- WipeOut (Psygnosis)

-Medal of Honor (Electronic Arts)

- Final Fantasy (Square)

I'm sure I'm missing some but you get the idea. When you think of these classics, you think of PlayStation. But what many don't think is that most of these companies were still in good with Nintendo. Almost all of them actually made content for the N64 or at least the Gameboy. They just didn't bring the "good stuff" most of the time because the N64 just couldn't handle it. So instead of Metal Gear, N64 got games like Castlevania 64. You didn't get Tekken, you got Namco Museum.

Maybe they wouldn't have gotten everyone on board but they already had most of the key companies on their side. It wasn't loyalty to Sony. It was loyalty to the only hardware that could run their games.

Your list is fairly accurate, yes it wasn't loyalty to Sony, but several of them were already tired of Nintendo. And if MS could moneyhat most of them to make multiplats even during Xbox original years I don't see why Sony wouldn't have done it to secure those titles.

It isn't really a case of just the CD made everything change, Saturn had CD and was a bomb worse than N64, so what is there to assure that Nintendo couldn't do even worse if they had gone with CD. Like a system that ended up worse and the Mario 64 and Zelda ended up being much worse game. It would be possible that their first year that was great became bad.

I agree with you. And, until somebody invents time travel, all we can do is speculate on what could have been instead of appreciating what actually did happen.  Hell, a CD based N64 may have resulted in countless house fires. It's fun to imagine what if, though!

And I'll give credit where it's due. Sony created a really well rounded machine. The best machine. That didn't happen by accident. It didn't have the glaring issues that other consoles that tried to break into the market had (overpriced, terrible controllers, etc.). They deserve the success they had and have...even if I am a Nintendo Fanboy at heart.

Last edited by d21lewis - on 24 August 2019

Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

DonFerrari said:
I just think it is funny that most seem to be taking a very rose glassed alternative reality option. One where Nintendo having CD would make everything right.

Where we could alternatively have a CD on N64, but the rest of the HW because of this decision end up being a Saturn equivalent... See Sega had established brand power, CD, but still couldn't outsell even N64.

So Sony wouldn't just drop all those sales just because CD was available on N64. As put before, GC had DVD and failed even harder than N64 (and at that point Nintendo should bee humbler right?), Wii didn't even try to compete anymore.

GC didn't have DVD. A special edition that was tons of money and only in Japan (through a partnership with Panasonic) brought DVD to GC, but the ones in America and in 95% of GC had proprietary mini discs. Again, a huge mistake on Nintendo's part, because to get the type of media in games like FF10, they'd likely need 4 or 5 mini discs. Resident Evil 4 required 2 and that doesn't have nearly the amount of video and sound in something like FF10.

But the GC also was a marketing failure because of its toylike appearance compared to PS2's media center friendly image (that and PS2 was up there with the best DVD players out).

In contrast, N64 was actually a huge hit on release. It failed because it had a drought of games after launch, and it lost a lot of its big partnerships...much of which was due their use of cartridges.



d21lewis said:
DonFerrari said:

Your list is fairly accurate, yes it wasn't loyalty to Sony, but several of them were already tired of Nintendo. And if MS could moneyhat most of them to make multiplats even during Xbox original years I don't see why Sony wouldn't have done it to secure those titles.

It isn't really a case of just the CD made everything change, Saturn had CD and was a bomb worse than N64, so what is there to assure that Nintendo couldn't do even worse if they had gone with CD. Like a system that ended up worse and the Mario 64 and Zelda ended up being much worse game. It would be possible that their first year that was great became bad.

I agree with you. And, until somebody invents time travel, all we can do is speculate on what could have been instead of appreciating what actually did happen.  Hell, a CD based N64 may have resulted in countless house fires. It's fun to imagine what if, though!

And I'll give credit where it's due. Sony created a really well rounded machine. The best machine. That didn't happen by accident. It didn't have the glaring issues that other consoles that tried to break into the market had (overpriced, terrible controllers, etc.). They deserve the success they had and have...even if I am a Nintendo Fanboy at heart.

Well I'll admit I'm a little to attached to reality for what if scenarios.

But as people said one of the premises OP didn't put was that most likely without Nintendo leaving Sony, the N64-CD would likely not see a rival in Saturn that blundered by themselves. But not sure how would fold the deal Nintendo and Sega had over the CD.

danasider said:
DonFerrari said:
I just think it is funny that most seem to be taking a very rose glassed alternative reality option. One where Nintendo having CD would make everything right.

Where we could alternatively have a CD on N64, but the rest of the HW because of this decision end up being a Saturn equivalent... See Sega had established brand power, CD, but still couldn't outsell even N64.

So Sony wouldn't just drop all those sales just because CD was available on N64. As put before, GC had DVD and failed even harder than N64 (and at that point Nintendo should bee humbler right?), Wii didn't even try to compete anymore.

GC didn't have DVD. A special edition that was tons of money and only in Japan (through a partnership with Panasonic) brought DVD to GC, but the ones in America and in 95% of GC had proprietary mini discs. Again, a huge mistake on Nintendo's part, because to get the type of media in games like FF10, they'd likely need 4 or 5 mini discs. Resident Evil 4 required 2 and that doesn't have nearly the amount of video and sound in something like FF10.

But the GC also was a marketing failure because of its toylike appearance compared to PS2's media center friendly image (that and PS2 was up there with the best DVD players out).

In contrast, N64 was actually a huge hit on release. It failed because it had a drought of games after launch, and it lost a lot of its big partnerships...much of which was due their use of cartridges.

FF IX had 4 discs, fantasmagoria 20+, even X360 had multiple discs. It didn't prevent games to happening, even more in the case of FF that you progress one CD at a time and don't have to put back. So having 5 discs for FF wouldn't be to much of a problem anyway.

Not sure how much the toylike image and marketing influenced, but yes I would agree it may have been considerable.

Err I'll repeat myself that a lot of it had to do with Nintendo relationship issues just as well. Sony would have been stronger on it than Nintendo. Sure I agree that N64-CD could/would do better with CD than cartridges, but not enough to tip the scale. Something more like 70-50 win to PS1. I don't see N64 overdoing SNES sales by much.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

danasider said:
DonFerrari said:
I just think it is funny that most seem to be taking a very rose glassed alternative reality option. One where Nintendo having CD would make everything right.

Where we could alternatively have a CD on N64, but the rest of the HW because of this decision end up being a Saturn equivalent... See Sega had established brand power, CD, but still couldn't outsell even N64.

So Sony wouldn't just drop all those sales just because CD was available on N64. As put before, GC had DVD and failed even harder than N64 (and at that point Nintendo should bee humbler right?), Wii didn't even try to compete anymore.

GC didn't have DVD. A special edition that was tons of money and only in Japan (through a partnership with Panasonic) brought DVD to GC, but the ones in America and in 95% of GC had proprietary mini discs. Again, a huge mistake on Nintendo's part, because to get the type of media in games like FF10, they'd likely need 4 or 5 mini discs. Resident Evil 4 required 2 and that doesn't have nearly the amount of video and sound in something like FF10.

But the GC also was a marketing failure because of its toylike appearance compared to PS2's media center friendly image (that and PS2 was up there with the best DVD players out).

In contrast, N64 was actually a huge hit on release. It failed because it had a drought of games after launch, and it lost a lot of its big partnerships...much of which was due their use of cartridges.

I agree with everything you said except that the PS2 was one of the best DVD players around. With the original, i would argue that it was the WORST DVD player around--but also one of the cheapest. We would constantly rent movies only to find that they wouldn't with the PS2 and then have to go back to the video store and get the VHS version. And don't get me started on porn! I eventually bought a real standalone DVD player. I got tired of...being left unsatisfied. The dvd update disc made things a lot better but it was still hit or miss. 

I think it did produce blacker blacks than the Xbox DVD player (based on an article I read back then comparing the two) but the compatibly issues killed it for me.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

d21lewis said:
danasider said:

GC didn't have DVD. A special edition that was tons of money and only in Japan (through a partnership with Panasonic) brought DVD to GC, but the ones in America and in 95% of GC had proprietary mini discs. Again, a huge mistake on Nintendo's part, because to get the type of media in games like FF10, they'd likely need 4 or 5 mini discs. Resident Evil 4 required 2 and that doesn't have nearly the amount of video and sound in something like FF10.

But the GC also was a marketing failure because of its toylike appearance compared to PS2's media center friendly image (that and PS2 was up there with the best DVD players out).

In contrast, N64 was actually a huge hit on release. It failed because it had a drought of games after launch, and it lost a lot of its big partnerships...much of which was due their use of cartridges.

I agree with everything you said except that the PS2 was one of the best DVD players around. With the original, i would argue that it was the WORST DVD player around--but also one of the cheapest. We would constantly rent movies only to find that they wouldn't with the PS2 and then have to go back to the video store and get the VHS version. And don't get me started on porn! I eventually bought a real standalone DVD player. I got tired of...being left unsatisfied. The dvd update disc made things a lot better but it was still hit or miss. 

I think it did produce blacker blacks than the Xbox DVD player (based on an article I read back then comparing the two) but the compatibly issues killed it for me.

That is strange, porn movie cds on PS1 run very well. But well, they were codded for PS1.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:
d21lewis said:

I agree with everything you said except that the PS2 was one of the best DVD players around. With the original, i would argue that it was the WORST DVD player around--but also one of the cheapest. We would constantly rent movies only to find that they wouldn't with the PS2 and then have to go back to the video store and get the VHS version. And don't get me started on porn! I eventually bought a real standalone DVD player. I got tired of...being left unsatisfied. The dvd update disc made things a lot better but it was still hit or miss. 

I think it did produce blacker blacks than the Xbox DVD player (based on an article I read back then comparing the two) but the compatibly issues killed it for me.

That is strange, porn movie cds on PS1 run very well. But well, they were codded for PS1.

I actually didn't know the PS1 and other CD based consoles could even run VCDs until about five years ago. In fact I didn't even know what a VCD was. I missed out. ☹️



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!