Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Play NES or SNES games on N64? It's possible!

New Nintendo Spokesman | Debuted E3 2004 | crowd loved him?

Here is Nintendo’s new superstar I just found out today…..his name is Reginald Fils-Aime or “Reggie” and he’s Nintendo of America’s new male figure that shows that Nintendo is listening to what the gamers want, not what 3rd party developers are willing to put on Gamecube, and adds to that grown-up feeling Nintendo only recently showed at their press conferences. Anyways, at this year’s E3 2004, Reggie was the main reason Nintendo was a hit with some help of the unrevealing of their new handheld. The truth is Gamecube is lagging behind the Playstation 2 at a 3-1 ratio. Personally – I don’t regret buying any of current generation consoles. One reason is Xbox, GCN, PS2 have exceptional games. Xbox has Halo, Gamecube has Zelda: Wind Waker and PS2 has a couple. They also have a share of top selling games gone multiplatform. A good one is Metal Gear Solid 2 which has gone multi-platform even though it is most successful on Sony’s console.

Today’s conversation is about the Tri-Star 64, but first I had to mention how I love my new Gameboy Player! It’s been 4 days since I had a Gameboy Player and it has brought life into my Gameboy cartridges once again. I have two RPGs for GBA which I can play on my TV and there is no visible difference between Fire Emblem Advance and the SNES version of Chrono Trigger. Fire Emblems also benefits by having 32-bit graphics instead of 16-bit. I remember back in December 2003 when Gameboy Player was 50 dollars and SP was 100 dollars. I had to have a backlit screen, but I feel stupid now because after I bought a Gameboy Player I can’t tell you how much better playing with a joystick feels. I am one of those gamers who can not play games on the go and always play at home. Nintendo sells more games for Gameboy Advance than Sony sells PS2 games. In other words I am surprised that many people, whether age 8 or 28, still trust their old school games developed on a Nintendo platform. You know what this means, don’t you? This means there is a total of 2000 Gameboy games that can be played on TV. Already hate the Gamecube controller? Fear not! With the Gameboy Link Cable, the Gameboy Player allows you to use your GBA to control the game. Two Gameboy Advance link cables are sold new for $12 US at department stores, and used at Game Stop or Toyriffic for only $7! Then again, some videogames cost $20, but if you really hate the Gamecube controller it’s a very small price to pay - yea know?

So how could Gameboy games be played on TV before July 2003? Well - answered this complex question for me! Intelligent Systems makes an adapter that connects GBA to a RCA or SVGA external source. The 3rd party peripheral cost more than 400 dollars. Gameboy Player came along and cost 50 dollars last year…. Now that is the solution for Gameboy owners and developers a like. It’s about 450% cheaper.

What’s more interesting is something called the Tri-Star 64 allowing someone to play NES or SNES games on N64? Neat-O! I even know how Tri-star came to be….Tristar is what Nintendo called the 3 triangle symbol in Legend of Zelda and Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I also believe there is a Tri-Star somewhere in Legend of Zelda - The Wind Waker. I had no idea it was possible until a few hours ago. It could be possible. Nintendo should have sold a N64 that had the ability to play SNES and NES games. Instead they’ve released something already compatible with older versions – Gameboy Advance. By taking this route – Nintendo could sell games on newly released videogames. Like everything else the company that made the add-on got sued for not legally obtaining the rights to play copyrighted software specifically developed for N64. What’s next - a 3rd party Nintendo 64 peripheral for Gamecube?

Here is a short FAQ I copied off this link explaining how to use the TriStar 64:

1) Like the original Tri-Star, it's mostly plastic.

2) It needs an external power source (not included); a Sega Master
System power supply works great. The box says "DC in" on the plug picture, so that excludes the NES power supply. The SNES and Genesis ones do not fit.

3) It has 3 slots: one for the N64, one for the SNES/Super Famicom and one for the Famicom. You need a 60-72 pin converter to play NES games on it. The converter is installed such that its front faces the front of the N64, but NES carts are inserted towards the back of the console.

4) It's composite only. No S-video here.

5) Some games don't work. Famicom Dragonsquest is one (it works on the
original Tri-Star, natch).

6) The picture quality is fair/good, at best.

7) The silly thing will not work if an N64 cart is not plugged into the N64 slot.

Like UFO’s CD64 I talked about in another post, Tristar 64 is a one of those weird things that came out during the 32/64-bit generation. Nintendo has a long history of getting “weird” peripherals. It looks like the user has to manually take the top cover off his/her N64 and place the new cover along with the hardware attachments to it. It says how far intelligent programmers went to get pass the NES5 encryption, and the SNES encryption to recreate hardware that runs original software of two older consoles. I strongly agree that console emulation took the next step and brought the old games to the majority of Internet users. It’s highly preferred over playing the original cartridges on the original systems and has no legal entanglements. Whoever did this would have been better off just creating a stand-alone console that did both with RCA connections and controllers. One thing is clear – this company did not want Nintendo involved when they’ve released this product.

Today I had a discussion about the future at WITC. The school will allow me to take part of their program for a third time if I take part in their job program. If I work for an employer who is in the computer industry than I get to stay at WITC even if I don’t succeed in getting 70% in both classes. The weird thing about it is I fail most of my first CCNA tests, but I get 80% or higher on all my retakes. It takes a man to go through with the school’s alternative program with will happen. My last retake was a 93% - well above the norm, but the two averages to about a 67%.

Tomorrow I’m getting Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. I feel like I’m getting the game because everyone else is getting it. Other then that I want to get 2 GBA games, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Zero Mission. Then Half-life 2 and Halo 2 are coming out the same day, November 16th. I don’t know what I’m going to do? Buy all of them. HL2 is a must have – Halo 2 can wait a month or two. I won’t have a chance to play one game more than 3 hours a week and maybe 6 hours on the weekend. I hear Halo 2 has better textures than Halo and reduced polygon count.

On a personal note – there hasn’t been any updated next generation console news so my blog has been same old, same old. I do my best to keep it interesting. Come back soon.

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