Nintendo 64 VS PlayStation One

Script written by Kurt Hvorp The late 90s were a time of great change, innovation... and competition. Join WatchMojo.com as we face off the Nintendo 64 against the Sony Playstation. Special Thanks to our users "Dennis Edgar" "Georgina Bransfield" & "rainbowcupcake0" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorp

Nintendo 64 VS PlayStation One


The late 90s were a time of great change, innovation... and competition. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re seeing how Sony's debut console, the PlayStation, stacks up against the Nintendo 64.

Round 1: Technical Capabilities


When it comes to hardware, both Sony and Nintendo came prepared.
In terms of raw graphical output, the PS1 sported a 32-bit CPU capable of handling 3D graphics and Full Motion Video... though some games had an issue of “jaggies”, or sharp-edged models in place of smooth ones.

Nintendo's console contained a 64-bit processor, or “Reality Coprocessor”, which, combined with better polygon count, was capable of producing smoother 3D environments than its competitor. The Nintendo 64 could also output in both composite and S-video, had a colour palette of over 16 million, and included 4MB of RAM, double the amount the PlayStation had, and that is before the expansion pack came along to add another 4MB for greater experiences in select games.

The added power and faster read speed gave the N64 a waiting time reduction as well, as a vast amount of PS1 titles suffered from really long loading times, while the load times on under Nintendo’s hood were almost non-existant. There was a downside to this, put we’re get back to that in a second.

In terms of sheer power and range, Nintendo earns the point.

Winner: N64 1/PlayStation 0


Round 2: Innovative Features


Getting a foothold in the market is tough for any console, so innovation is key. As it happens, both the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 toyed with new and interesting ideas.
The Nintendo 64's implementation of a control stick cannot be understated, providing a degree of control never before experienced. The console also reinforced the idea of four simultaneous controller ports, while introducing concepts such as the Rumble Pack and memory expansion. However, the PlayStation offered something Nintendo would not: compact disks as a viable format. The amount of storage space available on CD's made Sony's system dwarf Nintendo's reliance on cartridges.

To put it in perspective the biggest game on the N64 was a port of Resident Evil 2 which was 64MB’s, while Playstations CD’s had over 600MB of storage, and could be interchangeable for even larger games, longer games – games the N64 just couldn’t handle.

So for its embrace of a bold feature, the PlayStation wins this round.

Winner: N64 1/PlayStation 1


Round 3: Controller


As mentioned before, Nintendo brought a control stick into the mix – placing it in the centre of an M-shaped controller. Though the overall shape was found to work well, the placement of the yellow C buttons and the awkwardness of plugging Rumble or Memory Paks into the back highlighted the controller's bizarre design. However the stick had a massive flaw: They loosen up very easily, especially after playing games like Mario Party which require intense stick rotations.

The PlayStation's controller, meanwhile, went with a central shape akin to the Super Nintendo's controller... but with handle bar-esque grips on the bottom. This design element, coupled with the manageable layout of its direction pad, four shoulder buttons and action buttons, made for a controller that was distinct yet comfortable, though with only digital imput it wasn’t ideal for the 3D gaming the industry was moving towards.

That all changed with the arrival of the Dual Shock controller, Sony’s answer to the N64’s analog stick, which featured not one but 2 Sticks, Thus setting a new standard in 3D control. In fact the Dual Shock controller was so well put together that it’s design is still being used by Sony today. Granted there have been minor additions over the years but the overall shape and input placement has remained essentially the same. In comparison the N64 was Nintendo’s only controller to use the M shape with they’re follow up The Gamecube going for a completely different design.

For a smart design that’s still being used today, Sony wins the round.

Winner: N64 1/PlayStation 2


Round 4: Exclusive Titles


Games are, in many ways, the lifeblood of a console – and console-exclusive games can highlight the unique and enduring qualities of the system in question.

Nintendo came out of the gate with the launch title “Super Mario 64”. In the coming years, they emphasized quality over quantity with games such as “Banjo-Kazooie”, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”, and “GoldenEye 007” the latter being considered the best multiplayer game of that console generation.

Sony matched the N64's efforts with a healthy mix of exclusives – including the likes of “Resident Evil”, & “Crash Bandicoot”, but perhaps the biggest shock was when Squaresoft broke away from Nintendo to develop “Final Fantasy VII” for the Playstation.

This one is very VERY close, while the Playstation clearly has the bigger number of games, the aforementioned stronger hardware of the N64 allowed for their games to have a higher quality and greater lasting appeal. That’s not to say that the PS1 games are bad, far from it. But the question of Storage VS Performance Power meant that whichever system you preferred was usually dictated by whatever genre you preferred.

However, as far as how well the games have held up by today’s standards, Nintendo's have the upper hand over Sony's, which is a big deal considering that most early 3D games aged really, really poorly. So the N64 in a photo finish just nabs this one.

Winner: N64 2/PlayStation 2


Round 5: Appeal


The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were equally intent on drawing in a crowd, being specifically designed to appeal to particular markets.

Sony's console aimed for a more mature crowd, promoting a game library based around adult-oriented titles, complex narratives, and an aim for realism. To that end, games like “Metal Gear Solid” and “Gran Turismo” took precedence in Sony's marketing. Contrarily, the Nintendo 64 was known for its appeal with kids and young teens, especially those looking for innovative multi-player games like “Super Smash Bros.” or “Mario Party”.

Storage formats are another factor here as well. For younger gamers, cartridges were the way to go. Sure, adults had no problem keeping PlayStation CDs from getting scratched, but that sort of thing is a bit more challenging for the younger demographic Nintendo was chasing. Catridges however, could be stacked on top of eachother willy-nilly with no worry about damage – most of them still work today despite the fact that they spent most of their lives in an awkward pile next to the VCR.

But those formats also dictated the games that were available, and when we look at the game genre variety on the 2 consoles, the comparison is almost night and day: Fan of RPG’s? The PS1 is unopposed. First Person Shooters? Goldeneye and Perfect Dark alone make the N64 the ideal choice. Fighting games? Tekken and Street Fighter made it the Playstation the better option. Action Adventure? The extra power of the N64 made the worlds feel more lively and … well you get the idea.

Given the difference in demographic focus and the two companies' equal levels of success, we’re calling this round to be a tie.

TIE N64 3/PlayStation 3


Overall with the score 3 a piece this Showdown is a draw. I know this result may seem like a cop out but here’s the thing guys: Each system has strong points and weaknesses, which means the result merely comes down to personal preference. While Nintendo's console had the better technical performance and multi-player games, Sony's shined in terms of providing strong narrative driven games with plentiful content.

The PS1 VS N64 debate isn’t like any other console war, both companies went in radically different directions that trying to compare the two would be like arguing weather cats or dogs are better.
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