Unreleased Nintendo 64 Add-On / 64DD replacement?

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by DS2, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. DS2

    DS2 N64 Maniac

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    Hi everyone,

    I've found three patents from NoA which show a very interesting device. The priority dates of those patents are only a few days apart, so it is very likely that all are describing the same device:

    USD419199 - Game machine and console stack
    US6599194 - Home video game system with hard disk drive and internet access capability
    US6468160 - Security system for video game system with hard disk drive and internet access capability​

    I wasn’t able to find any information about the device, except for those patents. From the abstract and schematics we learn which main features Nintendo was planning for this nice piece of hardware:
    • Internet connectivity,
    • HDD for storing entire (downloaded) games,
    • cable TV tuner with picture-in-picture support,
    • IR remote control
    “An existing video game system is modified to include additional communication and storage capability via a modem and hard disk drive. The modification may involve the use of an expansion device coupled to a video game system port. A cable TV tuner is also included in the expansion device to assist in providing a unique picture-in-picture video capability. TV signals are coupled to the expansion device via the RF input from either cable TV or off-air signals. These RF signals are blended with the output signals from the video game system. A user may, for example, watch TV while viewing overlay information from the video game console. A user may receive a TV channel guide downloaded via the Internet, spot a program which the user desires to view and immediately access, via an IR input, the desired channel through the expansion device TV tuner. A user may also watch TV while simultaneously logging onto the Internet. A hard drive permits downloading from the Internet of entire games.”

    10.jpg

    20.jpg

    This are the pictures of the device from USD419199:

    50.jpg

    50.jpg 70.jpg 80.jpg 100.jpg 90.jpg 110.jpg 120.jpg 130.jpg

    Did Nintendo ever announce this device? Does anyone know if this was only an idea or if the hardware development has ever started?
     
  2. Jord9622

    Jord9622 Site Supporter 2014 Site Benefactor

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    Awesome find! Nice work!
     
  3. kennypecheur

    kennypecheur Site Supporter 2016

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    This is an awesome find ! Never heard of it before.

    All the connectors at the back of the unit as long as the way you need to connect the original video output of the N64 to this new unit let me suppose that this unit would have also been able to act as a TV Tuner, aside from a video.game download station.

    I hope that someone have informations about this system !

    Possibly the NX ? :p
     
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  4. Auction_Sniper

    Auction_Sniper Rapidly Rising Member

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    Maybe it was the initial design for what became the Lodgenet system?
     
  5. Moo

    Moo Gutsy Member

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    Maybe it's a N64 addon called FZ-1 R.E.A.L. 3DO Interactive Multiplayer DD.
     
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  6. rso

    rso Not a member. You're imagining things.

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    It even seems to have a plate screwed on that keeps users from messing with the plugs, so Lodgenet seems likely - or some other setup meant for public/semi-public spaces. What's Nintendo's line of hospital entertainment called again? And how did the N64 incarnation of that look?
     
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  7. kennypecheur

    kennypecheur Site Supporter 2016

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    It is called Starlight if I remember right.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. DS2

    DS2 N64 Maniac

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    I don't think that this is related to the Lodenet system / Gateway 64. This seems to be technically too different from the play-on-demand hotel system. The Gateway 64 loaded the games from a PC into flash memory - not a hard drive. It also has no own TV or internet features. I'm not sure if the console was located in the rooms at all or if it was only the Lodgenet interface box.

    I can't spot the screwed plate you've mentioned.Is it at the back or the front?

    Possible, but then without CD support :p

    Yes, the patents state that it has a built-in cable receiver and that you connect it also via antenna for TV

    THIS IS DEFINITELY THE NX, NO DOUBT :eek:


    The patent about the security system is also very interested. It seems that Nintendo has planned to integrate an additional security / lockout system and encryption engine into the hard drive controlling engine.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  9. rso

    rso Not a member. You're imagining things.

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    Second picture, the one where everything's upside down. The somewhat bland-looking plate thing on right half looks like it's placed over the ports (the screws are just a guess tbh). The sixth picture has it again, with the ports drawn with dashed lines, showing they're covered. Though now I look at it a second time, the others are drawn that way too, so I dunno...
     
  10. MisterEnthusiast

    MisterEnthusiast Robust Member

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    I like the looks of this thing! :D
     
  11. smf

    smf mamedev

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    They may just have been trying to stop sony or sega from doing it, rather than being interested themselves. The Amiga would present them a lot of challenges in terms of prior art.
     
  12. MisterEnthusiast

    MisterEnthusiast Robust Member

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    I think a good name for this thing would have been the Nintendo 64MM (MM = MultiMedia, since it can go on the Internet and download games and do cable TV tuning with picture-in-picture support)
     
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  13. sayin999

    sayin999 Officer at Arms

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    Interesting. I don't believe its lodge net as a former member here worked at a hotel that had it. Based on his exploration that system used a special server that was stored in a basement.
     
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  14. MisterEnthusiast

    MisterEnthusiast Robust Member

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    What would I not give to see an image of a functioning prototype or at least a mock-up?
     
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  15. Nanis149

    Nanis149 Rapidly Rising Member

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    NIIICE
     
  16. DS2

    DS2 N64 Maniac

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    64MM sounds great for me. Some Kind of hardware or a mockup would absolutely rock. Really strange that we never heard anything about this... maybe the idea was scrapped to soon - possibly in favor of the Dolphin/ Gamecube development.

    Just specullation, but maybe NoA started to develop an own expansion unit for the N64 after they realized that the DD would fail. This "64MM" device could have been barely based on the 64DD hardware as some features are similar - even if the functions are realized as cartridges for the DD: Internet via modem, video input/ capture, game/ software support from magnetic disk/HDD. So generally this could be a further development of the DD, combining it with the modem and video capture card, adding a cable receiver and changing the magnetic disk drive with a HDD.
     

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