Author Topic: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?  (Read 10509 times)

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Offline Rakutenka

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I recently hooked up my N64 to my HD TV and it's a bit rough to look at due to the low resolution. I'm wondering what are the possibilities of Krikzz making an N64 Analogue NT Mini? I know the N64 is difficult to emulate because of weird design and timing issues, but since you aren't trying to do everything with a single CPU via emulation could it be done with multiple FPGA chips? I'm kind of new to FPGA stuff, so maybe it's not possible, but an HD N64 would be amazing.

Offline iwasaperson

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 03:39 AM »
Extremely difficult. I don't know if any FPGA is capable of fitting an N64 on it without costing a metric ton of money, but someone more experienced could correct me.

Also, there is the UltraHDMI mod for the N64 which you should look into.
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Offline Rakutenka

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 04:08 AM »
Right on. I'll give that a look. Thanks.

Offline flamepanther

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 10:47 PM »
RGB and HDMI kits are only going to make the graphics look even more "rough". Cleaner. Sharper. But rougher. That's the nature of low-res 3D graphics. An implementation done on one or more FPGA chips would be the same as well. Scalers will only mask the issue slightly. If you really want clean, smooth graphics, the only option is using an emulator to force a higher internal rendering resolution.

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 03:13 PM »
The UltraHDMI mod is supposed to be great, but it is very expensive, and apparently requires a lot of soldering skill to install. Seeing as Nintendo has released the NES Mini, and are now releasing the SNES Mini, both with HDMI built in, and for a very reasonable price (the SNES Mini is £80 or $80), I'm really hoping that they release an N64 Mini. Granted, like the other two Minis an N64 Mini would only come with a dozen or so games, and wouldn't be able to play real cartridges or flash carts like the Everdrive 64, but apparently the NES Mini was quite easily modified to run NES game roms, so if the N64 Mini (if one comes out) could be easily made to play game roms then this would be a fantastic way to play all N64 games on a HDTV with great picture quality.

The only problem is, if an N64 Mini does come out, then it might be emulation based, which would severely limit the games you could run, since even today many N64 games don't run well, or sometimes even at all, on current emulators. Unless Nintendo wrote the first perfect N64 emulator, which seems unlikely.

Does anyone know if the NES Mini or SNES Mini are purely hardware based, or are they emulator based?

Offline BRNexus

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 05:01 AM »
The UltraHDMI mod is supposed to be great, but it is very expensive, and apparently requires a lot of soldering skill to install. Seeing as Nintendo has released the NES Mini, and are now releasing the SNES Mini, both with HDMI built in, and for a very reasonable price (the SNES Mini is £80 or $80), I'm really hoping that they release an N64 Mini. Granted, like the other two Minis an N64 Mini would only come with a dozen or so games, and wouldn't be able to play real cartridges or flash carts like the Everdrive 64, but apparently the NES Mini was quite easily modified to run NES game roms, so if the N64 Mini (if one comes out) could be easily made to play game roms then this would be a fantastic way to play all N64 games on a HDTV with great picture quality.

The only problem is, if an N64 Mini does come out, then it might be emulation based, which would severely limit the games you could run, since even today many N64 games don't run well, or sometimes even at all, on current emulators. Unless Nintendo wrote the first perfect N64 emulator, which seems unlikely.

Sorry, but a N64 Mini is not a great alternative to a proper HDMI mod using original hardware.   Cheaper yes, but it will be a lag fest and you won't be able to play physical carts.

Offline flamepanther

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 07:44 AM »
Does anyone know if the NES Mini or SNES Mini are purely hardware based, or are they emulator based?
The NES Classic is an emulator running on ARM-based (think "Android phone") hardware. It's been hacked to run Retroarch. The SNES Classic is supposed to be the exact same hardware, hence why they couldn't fit as many games into the NAND. 100% guaranteed any hypothetical N64 flavored version would be the same deal, with maybe more flash memory to accommodate the games. It's a neat box, but the demand for it is comical knowing what's inside.

Offline densy

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 12:23 PM »
I think N64 video quality is something that is very much a personal preference thing. I personally found it hard to justify spending lots of money on an UltraHDMI mod for a console that has quite a limited library of games to explore. But I did end making some improvements to the video quality which are relatively cheap.

I ooked up my PAL N64 again after a long time through my Framemeister. Problem with the PAL N64 in combination with the Framemeister is that the upscaler really doesn't like the output of NTSC games from a PAL unit. Composite video is really messy looking. I ended up getting a Japanese N64 for dirt cheap connected through S-Video into the Framemeister. S-video is a nice jump in quality from composite for the N64. Combined with the deblur patches you can apply to games with the Everdrive 64 you end with a cleaner look. I like it even more if you add scanlines to them.

I find that this solution is perfectly acceptable to my eyes for N64 games.

If you wanna try the deblur patches that disable anti-aliasing for a lot of games, check this site:
http://n64.poregon.com/shared/
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:25 PM by densy »

Offline FeverDrive

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Re: How difficult would it be to make an N64 Analogue NT Mini?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 03:32 AM »
Extremely difficult and expensive.
If you want to spend money get the Framemeister or the HDMI mod.
If you don't want to spend money you can get pixel perfect quality using emulation  :-[
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