3DO M2 dev kit on eBay

Discussion in 'Consoles' started by swaaye, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. OtakingGX

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    Did they mean LOD management?
     
  2. Megadrive1988

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    yes definitally, lol. i think!


    something most people forget is that, when Project Reality was announced in August or September of 1993, they announced having 100,000 polygons per second performance.

    they certainly hit that target and more, since N64 could do well over 100,000 textured, fully featured polys/sec.

    what was not understood then, is that N64 would never be delivering Jurassic Park or T2 graphics to games. there was a lot of confusion over that. even SGI's highest-end, most expensive visualization systems that cost $100,000 (and up) could not produce Jurassic Park or T2 graphics in realtime. the difference between pre-rendered and real-time graphics was not understood by most gamers at the time.

    N64 would've been a killer machine if it had 8k or 16k texture cache, 8 MB of RAM and a 4x CD-ROM drive, in additon to the cartridges. could that have been priced at $299 in 1996 ?

    one could also say that the M2 was basicly the what the N64 should've been, cept M2 didn't have cartridges or anti-aliasing.
     
  3. Urian

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    The 105-80Mhz hardware was pure vaporware, it never materialized into a real thing and when Nintendo launched the N64 SDK they were normal PCs with an attached ISA card with the final N64 hardware.
     
  4. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Well ya know they really REALLY like to keep their machines cheap. They definitely aren't known for pushing the envelope in potentially expensive tech. It always amazes me that they couldn't even put a real sound chip into N64. Sound on N64 is usually so awful (partly the wonderful cartridge tech there too).

    That AA is certainly neato in the games that use it. Too bad about the textures! :)
     
  5. ERP

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    The first N64 devkits were an add in board for an SGI IRIX and these were the only ones available for a long time.

    Later there was a PC hosted devkit, and infact you could only use the expansion pack with the PC devkits, although Nintendo did offer to try and modify our SGI kits at one point.
     
  6. Squeak

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    N64 should have had a better texturecache, not necessarily a larger one (Playstations was the same size).
    It should have launched with the DD drive instead of cartridge port.
    That would have meant cheaper games with the less size restrictions.
    Nintendo could even have done what they did in Japan with the Famicon discdrive and set up vending machines in stores, where you could reuse old discs and maybe download demos and small games.
    It would also have opened the possibility of very large savegames.
    The console would have been more expensive, and maybe if they weren't careful (like Sega wasn't with DC), have had a higher risk of piracy.
    But overall launching with the DD in build in would have made the N64 much better suited for competing in the areas where CD based consoles were strong.
     
  7. OtakingGX

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    I recall when the word on the street was that N64 would use MO (magneto-optical) discs. Essentially, mini-discs. This would have allowed for much greater capacity (MDs can hold 160 MB) but still maintained writeability.
     
  8. Ty

    Ty Roberta E. Lee
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    Was that when Sony was still involved with it then?
     
  9. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I believe Nintendo went with the cartridges for cost reasons. There are few reasons to go with it instead of CD-ROM, IMO. Especially when they probably could've gone with a 4X drive at that point and reduced loading delays a lot. 600 KB/s isn't far behind what those ROMs transferred at I believe (1 MB/s or so?).

    The actual console was significantly simplified in general. Compared to PS1 I imagine it was a lot cheaper to build, and a lot more reliable (very few returns). Nintendo likes to make the game devs foot a chunk of the bill, and you can see that with SNES and its anemic CPU (and all of the resulting cartridge processors/DSPs.

    They minimized the cost of the console itself, while still making it arguably superior to the competition. They certainly should have made more money than their competition. But they sure never had the volume that Sony managed. When you compare Saturn, PS1, and N64 it becomes extremely obvious that Nintendo wanted to keep things cheap.

    The texture cache may have been designed around the assumption of games with a maximum storage space of 32 MB or so. How, exactly, were devs going to use high-def textures with space like that to fit the entire game into? :)
     
  10. OtakingGX

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    As far as I can tell, the rumor came about in 1995. I know I remember reading about it in a gaming magazine, but I have long since thrown all of my old magazines away. It came back when news of the 64DD came out, that it would use magneto-optical discs. It was an entirely magnetic media, though, more like a Zip drive.
     
  11. Squeak

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    Don't be silly, cartridges were more than big enough for the kind of textures used back then.
    A 128x128x4 texture only takes up 8Kb for example. Let's say half of Mario 64s cartridge was used for textures, that's 512 textures of the aforementioned size.
    Clearly the game is not even close to that.
     
  12. Urian

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    Thanks, now I know that the documentation that I have are from second development kit.
     
  13. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Heh maybe, but don't try to tell me that the 8 MB cart that SM64 is on is a nice comfortable size to build a 3D world with, along with all audio, etc. LOL. It is more than a little hard to believe that the production values of the entire package couldn't have been noticeably boosted by going with CDs.

    Mario uses the simplest "textures" I think I've ever seen, and also uses a substantial amount of simple gouraud shading.
     
  14. Squeak

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    You forget that everything had to fit into the RAM of the console. Streaming and advanced LOD techniques was barely possible with N64, much less with the 128Kbs from the 2x CD drive in PS and Saturn.
    What a CD or DD drive would have allowed the N64 to do to a degree, was more sampled audio and FMV sequences. It would have allowed for more varied textures but not more and higher res textures per area or portal of a game.
     
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Yeah I had thought about the RAM, and that it was probably a limitation. One of many. However, with the 8 MB RAM that the expansion pack brought the machine up to, RAM should've been a lot less of an issue.

    I seem to recall devs saying the machine's fillrate limitations were more of an issue than the RAM though, especially after the expansion pack. I consider World Driver Championship as a good example of that, where they put a high-res mode into the game but didn't even support the expansion pack, and the game had some of the best texturing on N64. Some reviewers claimed it looked like a Dreamcast game.

    2X CD-ROMs pushed 300 KB/s data. Not sure what you meant by 128kbs. A 4X CD-ROM, which probably would have been a realistic addition to a machine developed a year later than PS1, would push double that. That's not far off from carts in bandwidth, but I'm sure it's horribly off in latency. Some devs liked to stream data off the carts as if it was RAM (just slow RAM).

    Still, I think CDs would've kept Nintendo far more popular with devs for many reasons, and that N would be far better off today than they are. N64 was such a failure after their SNES days. They lost so many developers cuz of costs and constraints, and a lot of consumer mind share without the ability to run the FMV games of the day.
     
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