Nintendo 64

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Platform - N64.png
Nintendo 64
Nintendo 64.jpg
Released: 1996-06-23
Discontinued: 2003-11-30
Developer: Nintendo
Type: Hardware

The Nintendo 64 (originally announced as the Nintendo Ultra 64) is a fifth-generation video game console by Nintendo, named after its 64-bit processor. The Nintendo 64 was the last of the home consoles to use more expensive game cartridges over optical disks. A widely-unpopular disk version of the Nintendo 64 was released in Japan called the 64DD.


Music and Sound

The Nintendo 64 didn't have a special chip just for sound. Instead, audio was handled by the console's Reality Coprocessor, specifically the Reality Signal Processor portion, although the NEC VR4300 (main CPU) could also process data if need be. The processor could be programmed to handle a variety of audio codecs including RAW PCM, MP3, MIDI, and various tracked modules. It could theoretically mix 100 channels of PCM audio, but this would require the entire system's resources. Audio playback could be sampled up to 48 kHz at 16-bit. However, since ROM cartridges were so small, games rarely used this level of quality.