Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64

N64 Specifications

Processor: RISC NEC VR4300 (64-bit)
Processor Speed: 93.75 MHz
Co-Processor: SGI RISC RCP("Reality" co-processor) (64-bit)
Co-Processor Speed: 62.6 MHz
Graphics Processor: RDP (Reality drawing processor), built into co-processor
RAM: 4 MB RDRAM upgradeable to 8MB
Resolution: 256 x 224 to 640 x 480 pixels
Sound: ADPCM-support, 16-bit stereo (MP3 support via software)

The Nintendo 64 (Often abbreviated to N64) is Nintendo’s third attempt at a video game console. It was the world’s true first 64-bit CPU console.

The N64 saw the release of many games that are touted as being some of the best of all time. These games range from much raved Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time to the game touted with revolutionizing the FPS genre GoldenEye 007.

Graphically the Nintendo 64 was the more powerful of the 5th generation consoles, its boost in power was helped in that it came in at the end of the 5th generation of consoles.

The N64’s graphics chip was capable of trilinear filtering, among other more advanced 3D techniques. However, the true power of the N64 console was inhibited by the smaller storage size of the ROM cartridges.

The smaller size made developers have to reduce the number of textures used and use other methods such as Gouraud shading or extremely simple textures.

Emulation wise the N64 is still to be perfected. While the vast majority of games are playable, there are still a few that are completely unplayable. Most problems with N64 emulation and its compatibility doesn’t come from its CPU but from its GPU.

The GPU uses methods that are rather complicated to successfully emulate on modern GPU’s, while a modern GPU is far more powerful we simply don’t have the same access to it as developers on the original N64 would have to its GPU.

It is also not helped that there is a lack of documentation on the way the GPU operates for specific games. One of the most significant of these being Star Wars Rogue Squadron.

Best compatibility emulator wise is Project 64. It offers full and fast support for the vast majority of games, video plugin wise, Glide64 is the go-to for best emulation of the GPU side. However, it does sacrifice speed.


N64 Emulators

Project 64 Thumbnail

Project 64 is probably the most famous of the Nintendo 64 Emulators, it has been around for an extremely long time and has done an amazing job at successfully emulating the Nintendo 64, while still being performance friendly.

Mupen64 Plus Thumbnail

Mupen64 Plus is another extremely capable Nintendo 64 emulator that has been around for a long time, it has been ported to numerous systems and is regarded as one of the best Nintendo 64 Emulators.

1964 Thumbnail

1964 Emulator has now ceased active development, but was at one point regarded as one of the best Nintendo 64 Emulators around, making use of an extremely fast recompiler core that gave it an edge in performance.

N64 Video Plugins

Direct64 Thumbnail

Direct64 is an excellent video plugin that was developed by Orkin and is based on the video plugin, gln64. It is a reasonably optimized plugin but doesn't have as good as compatibility as GlideN64, RiceVideo, or GlideHQ.

Glide64 (Glide HQ) Thumbnail

Glide64 is one of the most popular Video Plugins available for the Nintendo 64. It offers fast and accurate emulation of the video side of the N64 and is only second to the newer GlideN64 plugin.

glN64 Thumbnail

glN64 is a video plugin for the Nintendo 64 that was developed by Orkin. glN64 ended up being used as the base for the exceptional and highly capable GlideN64 video plugin.

Rice Video Thumbnail

Rice Video was one of the very first video plugins for the Nintendo 64 to offer support for replacement textures in games. It also provides fast emulation and excellent compatibility.

SoftGraphic Thumbnail

SoftGraphic is an LLE Video plugin that makes use of the work by the MAME team to render graphics. This plugin sports fantastic compatibility at the cost of emulation speed, many games will struggle to render at reliable framerates.

Z64 Thumbnail

Z64 is an LLE video plugin developed by Angrylion. This plugin is the first to try and utilize MAME's accurate RDP core to try and render graphics. While able to render many games, this N64 video plugin does sacrifice performance.

N64 Audio Plugins

Azimer HLE/LLE Audio Thumbnail

Azimer HLE/LLE Audio is regarded as the best audio plugin you can get for N64 emulators. It successfully manages to emulate audio in almost every N64 game with little to no distortion or other adverse side effects.

Shunyuan HLE Audio Thumbnail

Shunyuan HLE Audio is a fairly capable N64 Audio plugin that offers decen't emulation of the N64's audio. This plugin is worth trying out if you run into issues with Azimer's N64 audio plugin.

N64 Input Plugins

Nrage Input Thumbnail

Nrage Input is the most full-featured input plugin available for N64 emulators. Nrage supports both DirectInput and Xinput, allowing it to handle almost every controller. Nrage also supports features such as the GameBoy Color transfer pack.

XInput Thumbnail

Billards XInput Plugin is a small but useful N64 input plugin that offers support for the Xinput protocol. This means this plugin can only be used with controllers like the Xbox 360 controller and the Xbox One controller.