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DonFerrari said:
Soundwave said:

Sony and Philips didn't have a monopoly on CD ROM by the mid-1990s, there were tons of CD-ROM manufacturers at that point that they could have gone with, although I'm pretty sure they fulfilled their contractual obligation to Philips anyway. There was still Hitachi, Matsushita/Panasonic, Toshiba, NEC, JVC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, that they could've gone with but I don't think Philips would've said no to supplying a CD drive either. I mean from Philips' POV a Super NES CD add-on released late in the system's product cycle realistically was going to sell what? Maybe 5 million units tops? The Sega CD sold 2.24 million life time. An order for N64 CD drives which every system would have to include could net them 40-50+ million orders, that sure beats an add-on, so I think even if Nintendo wanted to work with Philips, Philips would be smart enough to see an N64 CD was a far better deal for them than a SNES CD add-on (add-on's always being limited in user adoption).

Nintendo simply bit way too hard on the CDs aren't suitable for games nonsense. Should have compromised on that but kept the cartridge slot and they could've had cartridge games, which would've allowed Mario 64 to be released no problem, but also benefitted from CD based games. Even cart + CD combo games would've been smart you could keep cart sizes at only 8-16MB and offload extra data like music to a 10 cent CD to save yourself from having to spend on 32/64MB carts. That would've saved Nintendo money that probably would've paid for the CD drive on its own many times over. 

Sure those companies wouldn't deny selling the product, but after those 2 companies putting their own money in R&D Nintendo backtracked on the project why do you think they would have tried a 3rd time?

Cartdrige and CD on the same console would likely be problematic, we had bad examples besides extra cost.

Well Nintendo and Philips only had one deal, so it wouldn't be back tracking 3 times, they would be going ahead with a N64 CD drive instead of a Super NES one, which frankly is a way better deal for Philips if Nintendo felt like they wanted to work with Philips. If not them, Nintendo did end up working with Panasonic and IBM on the GameCube and both of them made CD-ROM drives, but so did numerous other companies as I mentioned like Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu, JVC, NEC I'm sure would've been happy to supply Nintendo with a drive if asked. 

Cartridge slot really doesn't cost much at all, don't see what would be problematic about that at all. 

For that gen especially where 2x speed CD-ROM drives were pretty slow, having a fast cartridge in combination with a CD that could just handle large textures, audio, video, voice data, etc. would've been actually a pretty kick ass setup for Nintendo/Rare games. A game like Star Fox 64 for example could've off-loaded all the voice data onto a 5 cent CD instead of using up like 1/3 of the cartridge's space for voice audio. 3rd parties probably just would've made CD-only games, but who knows I could see things like fighting games being cart + CD combo (Street Fighter III was rumored for the N64, but I think there were cartridge space limitation issues). You could probably do other things like use the cartridge (say 8-16MB) as a faster higher speed texture cache of sorts and have the disc just stream textures straight to the cartridge to hold. 

If anything I think what would've happened is maybe Nintendo would've amalgamated the cartridge slot and RAM Expansion slot the N64 had (it also had an expansion slot on the bottom of the system for the 64DD which wouldn't be needed ... so it had three high speed ports ... people forget that). You could lose one of those slots, maybe even two. The Saturn's cartridge slot for example could run both cartridge games but also it could run the RAM Expansion, so probably that would've saved Nintendo a few bucks. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 25 October 2022