First party accessories
The Nintendo 64 controller is an 'm'-shaped controller with 10 buttons (A, B, C-Up, C-Down, C-Left, C-Right, L, R, Z, and Start), one analog stick in the center, a digital directional pad on the left hand side, and an extension port on the back for many of the system's accessories. Initially available in seven colors (gray, yellow, green, red, blue, purple, and black) and later in transparent versions of said colors (except gray). The N64 pad's analog stick is notorious for wearing out quickly, eventually becoming unable to return to centre position (though they often still functioned normally). Also, the analog stick would become uncalibrated if not centered properly when the system was booted up; if the stick was not centered, the game would calibrate with a zero of the altered position. Because this may not be discovered until the player enters the game, a universal software recentering method is printed in every manual (simultaneously pressing the L, R, and START buttons). Early titles such as Wonder Project J2: Koruro no Mori no Josettewould lose calibration if the player moved the cursor while accessing the Controller Pak save.
The Controller Pak (コントローラパックKontorōra Pakku?) is the console's memory card, comparable to those seen in the PlayStation and other CD-ROM-based video game consoles. Certain gamesallowed saving of game files to the Controller Pak, which plugged into the back of the Nintendo 64 controller (as did the Rumble and Transfer Paks). The Controller Pak was marketed as a way to exchange data with other Nintendo 64 owners, since information saved on the game cartridge could not be transferred to another cartridge.
It is plugged into the controller and allowed the player to save game progress and configuration. The original models from Nintendo offered 256 kilobits (32KB) battery backed SRAM, split into 123 pages with a limitation of 16 save files, but third party models had much more, often in the form of 4 selectable memory bank of 256kbits. The number of pages that a game occupied varied (sometimes, it used the entire card). It is powered by a common CR2032 battery.
A Controller Pak was initially useful or even necessary for the earlier N64 games. Over time, the Controller Pak lost ground to the convenience of a battery backed SRAM (or EEPROM) found in some cartridges. Because the Nintendo 64 used a game cartridge format that allows saving data on the cartridges themselves, few first party and second party games used the Controller Pak. The vast majority were from third-party developers, likely because of cost expenses: including self-contained data on the cartridge would have increased production and retail costs. Some games used it to save optional data that was too large for the cartridge, such as Mario Kart 64, which used 121 pages for storing ghost data. Another game is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, which uses 11 pages. Quest 64 and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemonused the Controller Pak exclusively for saved data. The Japan only game Animal Forest used the Controller Pak to travel to other towns.
The Jumper Pak (ターミネータ パックTāminēta Pakku?, Terminator Pack) is a filler that plugged into the console's memory expansion port. It serves no functional purpose other than to terminate the RAMBUS bus in the absence of the Expansion Pak. This is functionally equivalent to a continuity RIMM in a RAMBUS motherboard filling the unused RIMM sockets until the user upgrades. Early Nintendo 64 consoles (prior to the Expansion Pak's release) came with the Jumper Pak included and already installed. Jumper Paks were not sold individually in stores and could only be ordered individually through Nintendo's online store. The system requires the jumper pak when the expansion pak is not present or else there will be no picture on the TV screen.
The Expansion Pak (拡張パックKakuchō Pakku?) allows the random access memory (RAM) of the Nintendo 64 console to increase from 4 MB (megabytes) to 8 MB of contiguous main memory. With the help of an included key, the Expansion Pak fits into the slot that is below a removable panel on the top of the N64 console. Game developers can take advantage of the increased memory in several ways, including making games that are more visually appealing. The add-on was released in 1999 and contains 4 MB RDRAM, the same type of memory used inside the console itself. By increasing system memory, there is potential for enhancements to games designed with the added RAM storage in mind. The Expansion Pak is installed in a port on top of the Nintendo 64 and replaces the pre-installed Jumper Pak, which is simply a RAMBUS terminator.
A few games, including Rare's Donkey Kong 64 and Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask required it for play. Capcom's Resident Evil 2 used the Expansion Pak for making areas of the game and monsters more detailed. Perfect Dark had limited gameplay options when the Expansion Pak was not present. Supporting games usually offered higher video resolutions or higher textures and/or higher color depth. For example, the Nintendo 64 all-remade version of Quake II features higher color depth but not a higher resolution when using the Expansion Pak. It was used in StarCraft 64 to unlock levels from the popular Brood War add-on for the PC version of the game. Many games such as Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine optionally used the Expansion Pak to add a high resolution 640x480 display mode for games, while other games saw the benefit of a smoother frame rate. The Expansion Pak was available separately as well as bundled with Donkey Kong 64. In Japan, the Expansion Pak was additionally bundled with Zelda: Majora's Mask and Perfect Dark, though the games were also available separately in other regions.
The Rumble Pak (振動パックShindō Pakku?) is an accessory which provides haptic feedback to the player by way of vibration. It is powered by two AAA batteries and connects to the controller's expansion port. It was released in 1997 for the new game Star Fox 64, with which it was originally bundled.
The Transfer Pak (64GBパックRokujūyon Jī Bī Pakku?, 64 Game Boy Pack) is an accessory that plugged into the controller and allowed the Nintendo 64 to transfer data between Game Boy or Game Boy Color games and N64 games. The Transfer Pak has a Game Boy Color slot and a part that fits onto the expansion port of theN64 controller. It is considered the successor to the Super Game Boy, and the predecessor of the GameCube-Game Boy Advance cable. It was included with the gamePokémon Stadium, as the game's main feature was importing Pokémon teams from Game Boy titles.
Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2 are games that rely heavily on the Transfer Pak. Pokémon Stadium also included a "GB Tower" mode for playing Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the N64 via a built-in Game Boy emulator (which included unlockable "Doduo" and "Dodrio" modes which would speed up the game by a factor of 2 and 3, respectively). TheStadium games are the exception, as normally it is not possible to actually play Game Boy games on the N64 with the Transfer Pak, as was possible with the Super Game Boy on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Both Mario Golf and Mario Tennis also made use of it. Rare's Perfect Dark was initially going to be compatible with the Transfer Pak in order to use pictures taken with the Game Boy Camera for creating characters with real life faces, but this function was scrapped after the attacks at Columbine High School and a wave of anti-violent video game sentiment, and the Transfer Pak was usable only in combination with the Game Boy Color version of Perfect Dark for unlocking bonuses.
Developed by Intelligent Systems, the Wide-Boy 64 (CGB/AGB) is a rather obscure series of adapters similar to the Super Game Boy that was able to play Game Boy games; however, it was only released to the developers and the press and was never released to the public. A device similar to the Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player, the Wide-Boy 64 allows video game developers to play Game Boy Color games on the television screen in a similar fashion as the Game Boy Player does with Game Boy Advance games and the Super Game Boy with original Game Boy games. It also allowed the gaming press to capture screen shots more easily. Like the Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player, the game screen itself is surrounded by a template mimicking the appearance of the portable system. It was not a consumer product as only developers and magazines could purchase one from Nintendo at a cost of $1400 USD a piece.
The S-Video Cable provides a better quality picture than composite RCA cables via the MultiAV port. The cable is identical to and compatible with earlier SNES and later Gamecube S-Video cables.
The Nintendo 64 Disk Drive (known as the Nintendo 64DD or just 64DD) is an official add-on which was capable of reading magnetic disks. It was a commercial failure and was consequently never released outside of Japan. It featured networking capabilities similar to the SNES Satellaview.
The VRU (Voice Recognition Unit) had only two compatible games: Hey You, Pikachu! and Densha de Go! 64. A VRU was included with every copy of Hey You, Pikachu! and was required to play the game.Densha de Go! 64 did not require the VRU, and as such, it was sold separately. It consisted of a ballast that was connected to controller port 4 of the system, a microphone, a yellow foam cover for the microphone, and a clip for clipping the microphone to the controller. The VRU was calibrated for best recognition of a high-pitched voice, such as a child's voice. As a result, adults and teenagers are less likely to have their speech recognized properly by the VRU. VRUs are region dependant, and a USA region VRU cannot be used with Japanese games and vice versa (foreign region VRUs are not detected by the games). No VRU compatible game was launched on the EUR region (PAL, Europe), so there's no EUR region VRU. A similar device has been released for the Nintendo Wii called the Wii Speak.
The Dance Pad is an accessory packaged separately that is needed to play Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Dancing Museum.
Nintendo released a first party cleaning kit for the Nintendo 64. It contained everything required to clean the connectors of the control deck, controllers, Game Paks, Rumble Paks and Controller Paks.
These accessories allow the Nintendo 64 and model 2 SNES (redesigned after the launch of the N64) to hook up to the television through RF. It was primarily intended for customers with older televisions that lack AV cable support. Since the Nintendo 64 and model 2 SNES lack built-in RF compatibility, the modulator acts as a special adapter that plugs into the Nintendo 64's AV port to give the Nintendo 64 RF compatibility. The RF switch itself is identical in every way to the RF switches released for Nintendo's prior systems (the NES and the SNES) and can be interchanged if needed. This set was later re-released for the GameCube to give it RF capability. The cables intended for the GameCube will also work with the N64 and SNES.
The Euro Connector Plug is an adaptor packaged with European releases of the console, which converts RCA composite and stereo cable inputs to Composite SCART.
Nintendo made a black rectangular container built of wood, with a plastic drawer with one row of slots designed for Nintendo 64 games. Official cases have the Nintendo 64 sticker on the drawer. Nintendo made two types of these storage cases—one for 12 games and one for 24 games.
The Messenger Bag is a black bag made to carry on the left side of the body. It is branded on the front with the Nintendo 64 logo and name. It comes with zippered compartments on the outside and inside and with mesh pockets. It can only hold a few games and a controller.
Nintendo also made a Traveling Case—a black bag, with the Nintendo 64 name stitched on the front. Two plastic buckles on the front keep the bag closed. It is made to carry the Nintendo 64 system with controllers, games, and accessories. They also made a standard black backpack with the Nintendo 64 logo on the top and a zippered compartment on the front. Lastly, Nintendo made a basic 35 mm camera, complete with a timer and flash. Official cameras have a Nintendo 64 logo on the front. They come in different colors such as blue and orange.
Alex Wilcox 22:43, July 9, 2011 (UTC)