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The new Retro Gamer reveals the Nintendo 64 didn’t need to be 64-bit

Retro Gamer
(Image credit: Future)

This year is the Nintendo 64’s 25th anniversary and Retro Gamer spoke to veteran developers to find out why so many of the system’s games pushed technical boundaries.

Interestingly, despite the power of Nintendo’s console, Giles Goddard, who worked on titles including Super Mario 64 and 1080º Snowboarding had an interesting revelation when asked if the 64-bit processing offered by Nintendo’s console had any real advantages over the rival consoles of the time. “Almost none, I would say,” was his unexpected reply. “I’d say it was more about marketing than anything actually usable.”

Giles is one of several developers we spoke to for issue 224, and while some aspects of the console weren't actually needed,everyone we interviewed praised Nintendo’s system. Eric Johnstone worked on both of the N64’s Star Wars games and revealed, “I loved the N64 hardware. Mark Blattel and I had a desk at SGI during its development, running it through its paces as it progressed. At the time, the only machine we could simulate it on was a 250,000 SGI Onyx, which was a purple and black box the size of a small desk, which required its own 16-amp power outlet.”

Our huge ten-page feature examines the strengths of the hardware, the introduction of the Expansion Pak and the many great games that benefitted from the console’s extra power. It’s an essential read for anyone that loves Nintendo’s popular console.

Other highlights of issue 224 include in-depth articles on Double Dragon II, Dizzy, the transition of gaming from 2D to 3d, as well as a celebration of Falcom, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. We also look at Castle Master, Litil Divil, Ghosthunter, The Simpsons: Bart Vs The Space Mutants and many other classics.

Issue 224 of Retro Gamer is on sale now. You can buy it from Magazinesdirect.com or subscribe.

Retro Gamer Team

Retro Gamer is the world's biggest - and longest-running - magazine dedicated to classic games, from ZX Spectrum, to NES and PlayStation. Relaunched in 2005, Retro Gamer has become respected within the industry as the authoritative word on classic gaming, thanks to its passionate and knowledgeable writers, with in-depth interviews of numerous acclaimed veterans, including Shigeru Miyamoto, Yu Suzuki, Peter Molyneux and Trip Hawkins.