Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

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Erockbrox
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Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Erockbrox » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:58 am

I have seen many clone consoles of the NES, Genesis and SNES as well as the new Atari 2600 clone that was just put out, but I haven't really seen any clone N-64's.

I'm not super up to date on the patents expiring or anything, but I was guessing that all of the protection Nintendo had on the NES has expired and thus that is why there are so many clone consoles out there plus it may have not been that hard of a task. The closest I've seen to a N-64 clone is someone putting a raspberry pie in a shell with a N-64 emulator in it.

So when do you think we will see some N-64 clone consoles? Any guesses?

adam_smasher
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by adam_smasher » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:00 pm

The N64 is orders of magnitude more complex than the NES/SNES so that's going to impede the development of hardware clones. It's also quite a bit less popular, so there's a smaller market for it.

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Banshaku
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Banshaku » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:47 pm

The chip was made by SGI if my memory is good so compared to a nes/snes/genesis clone, I don't see how they could make something on the cheap for that. When it came out, the psx was all the rage (Psone is the new name but let's forget about the pedantic thing) so the N64 maybe doesn't ahve the same scope of popularity as their previous console.

So my guess would be that it will be quite unlikely that they make a clone of it, if ever.

Oziphantom
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Oziphantom » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:50 am

I think the MIPS cores are now open source, so that is the CPU covered, the controller is funky and there is nothing else on the market near it to do a cheap re-badge of. Do the emulators even have the N64 working 100% yet, its been a while since I've used one, last time I used them they were iffy.

I would think a N64 repro is a matter of time, just the cost of making one is going to be a lot higher. the N64mini will probably kick it off though. N64s are also a lot newer and don't have any moving parts to fail, so I guess the real N64s are still around.

The PSX is probably protected by the fact the PS2/P/3/V/4 play PS1 games and in some cases even discs. The PSX and PSone are different machines as the PS2 and PStwo are as well ;)

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Sumez
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Sumez » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:51 am

PSOne is specifically the brand name for the later mini version of the console with an attachable monitor.
PSX probably got eradicated when Sony, much later, released a product with the actual title of PSX (not PlayStation X, just "PSX"). Meanwhile PS1 was being adopted after the PS2 came out, to make it easier to differentiate the two, so I guess that was the one that stuck.

I'm not sure when the original PlayStation stopped being the "PlayStation X"? I'm assuming it was just a working title, like the Ultra 64, but as I recall it, everyone were calling it the PlayStation X long after release, including magazines.

Confusing ya.

calima
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by calima » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:42 am

N64 patents are all out, since it was released 1996 and patents last 20 years. It's the complexity. No perfect N64 emulator exists, they all have issues with various titles. The hw is far too large to emulate with a FPGA that costs sub-used-car amounts.

MIPS soft cores may indeed be available, but emulating any RISC cpu is not hard. The ISA docs are all available, and MIPS being RISC, you don't have to think about a zillion modes like x86. It's the interplay between the CPU and GPU that's hard.

So, I don't think we'll see N64 clones in a decade, perhaps not ever. PS1 clones are more likely, but where's the point when PS1 emulation is almost-perfect? There aren't really PS1 hifists that want a pixel-perfect, frame-perfect experience, since the console itself had ugly output, massive loading times and ingame lags. And as others mentioned, PS1 games can be played on a number of newer products with better video output.

calima
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by calima » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:57 am

Oh, on the controllers, Retrofighters are producing new ones with a modern layout. According to reviews they are great, the stick being the point that usually fails in cheap china controllers but works great there. I took part in the colored kickstarter, they should ship in Oct and become available at retail sometime afterwards.

Pokun
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Pokun » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 am

Oziphantom wrote:Do the emulators even have the N64 working 100% yet, its been a while since I've used one, last time I used them they were iffy.
Not even close. Not much happened in 64 emulation for years until 64DD disks finally was dumped and documented, making emulators finally start supporting 64DD. It's still way behind the Gamecube/Triforce/Wii emulator Dolphin ironically enough.

There is at least one 64 emulator, CEN64, that's not going for high level emulation. It aims for cycle accuracy, but I don't think it's there just yet.

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Fisher
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Fisher » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:50 am

Does the iQue Player count as a clone?

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Dwedit
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Re: Where are the N-64 clone consoles?

Post by Dwedit » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Nintendo themselves made the iQue, it's no clone.
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