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Hardware Platform Nintendo 64 Vs. PlayStation: Which console was more innovative?

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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how is this even a debate..
what console had super mario 64?

it was the moment when people started taking 3d gaming seriously. 2D to 3D n64 wrote the rules about moving in 3d space targeting etc.

ps1 had way more games obviously. and the n64 suuucked as an rpg console... when the snes was the best ever imo.
but innovation??

naaah ninty
 
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FR1908

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Playstation made gaming cool and more acceptable. You could say Sega was there before, but they were cool for teens. In Europe (in Rotterdam and London at least) you saw demo pods in clubs that gave it an underground, fresh and confident look and made you feel like you weren't part of a solitary existence at a time when video games were still a geek thing once you got past 14.
In the end it was just an upgrade from all those failed CDROM machines like CDI, 3DO and Amiga CD32 that came before it. The timing was perfect because the technology gave us double-speed CD-ROM drives and a graphics engine that could make acceptable polygon creations. The imaginary poor people who couldn't identify with a 10 pixel plumber looking to save his 12 pixel princess from a 20 pixel dragon could now race a smooth frame rate race car instead of a dino in a kart.

On the other hand you had this 64bit MIPS/RISC/anti-aliased powered beast that got delayed and delayed and had a Dreamteam working on it that consisted of studios nobody knew, because this was going to be something special. A Capcom or Squaresoft couldn't create games for this ‘Project Reality.’ You needed special 3D developers like Sierra On-Line and Angel Studios to create content; ULTRA Developers! You needed more than just your regular game developers! Thanks to "Nintendo Magazine Systems" news item: "..capable of producing graphics up to the standards of the computer-generated dinosaurs in Jurassic Park," my hypometer went through the roof. After seeing the first demo at the Soshinkay show and seeing Bowser got tossed at the screen by Mario, I knew I saw his 3D model before in that Steven Spielber's classic... sort off.

In the end I think both systems did something special in their own way, but the N64 did more to me with its new controls, zero loadtimes and revolutionairy games like SM64, Goldeneye and Zelda. Only Metal Gear Solid on the PSOne is up there too. But that awful software drought on the N64 killed it. It was easy to live with only a Playstation. I can't say the same about the N64. I call it a tie.
 
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AutumnLeaves

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Much better and varied than Spyro, Crash and GT. Please don’t list a load of weeb games.

Say what now? I understand preference but don't knock PS1 games as they definitely had quality.

Metal Gear Solid
Tenchu 1 + 2
Final Fantasy 7-9
Parasite Eve 1 + 2
Einhaender
Ridge Racer Type 4
Resident Evil 1-3
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1-2
Wipeout XL
Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Blood Omen
Soul Reaver
Tekken 3
Vagrant Story
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Oddworld Abe's Odyssey + Exodus
Final Fantasy Tactics
Chrono Cross
Silent Hill
Xenogears
The Legend of Dragoon
Twisted Metal 1 -3
Klonoa
Tomb Raider 1- 3
Suikoden 1 -2
Ape Escape
Bushido Blade 1 -2
Medal of Honor + Underground
Mega Man Legends
WWF Smackdown 1 +2
Spider-Man 1 +2
Driver 1 +2
Parappa the Rapper
Hogs of War
R-Tyoe Delta
Mr. Driller
One
Bloody Roar 1+2
Jade Cocoon
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne
Galerians
Tobal 2
Disruptor
Vandal Hearts
Alundra 1 +2
Ehrgeiz
Persona 1 +2
Heart of Darkness
Rival Schools
Tomba 1 +2
Star Ocean 1 +2
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
Legend of Legaia
Um Jammer Lammy

Yeah, sure are "weeb" games. Whatever the hell that means.
 
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iHaunter

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N64
  • Analog stick paired WITH gameplay mechanics
  • Texture filtering
  • Anti Aliasing
  • Rumble Pak
PS
  • CD

N64 was waymore advanced BUT the Risc Processor of the PS was way cheaper and easier to develop
Rumble Pak is the opposite of innovation. If we're talking about hardware, I don't see where N64 wins? It's arguably one of the worst controllers ever made. If we're talking about games, there were 4-5 on N64 worth mentioning.
 
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Kataploom

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If anything, PS was only innovative in their marketing philosophy which let the devs use all their creativity to make games for different audiences... and that alone is big enough IMO.

The console itself wasn't something innovative, the controller was basically a SNES controller with two more triggers, the dual sticks configuration wasn't different than N64 stick + c buttons which Nintendo just moved to a stick due to it being easier to use (probably they copied this from PS but probably not, it was an obvious step forward for 3D).

Also, I don't think it brought games to mainstream before the Wii, but it certainly expanded the market due to a more open marketing approach compared to Nintendo, since I started seeing adults playing games back with PS (people that you could tell they were new players and not old game fans).

Technical innovations came basically all from N64, market innovation came basically all from PS
 

zombrex

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You do understand there were multiple consoles before the PSX that used CDs, right? And that it didn't launch with the Dual Shock - the original PSX pad was digital only and borrowed very heavily from the Super Famicom/SNES controller except that the buttons had symbols on them and it had secondary L + R triggers.
What is your point? That brought it to the mainstream and brought the econimies of scale that others could not. Yes of course but once again its was the playstation that popularised it. The controller 3D shape they came up with the ps1 dualshock became industry standard for decades and still is now. It is the default standard of even third party controllers for PC.
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

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PlayStation was just better
better at what?

Better 2D + fighting games by a mile and at the time 2D + fighting games were the biggest thing still.
 

Banjo64

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Say what now? I understand preference but don't knock PS1 games as they definitely had quality.

Metal Gear Solid
Tenchu 1 + 2
Final Fantasy 7-9
Parasite Eve 1 + 2
Einhaender
Ridge Racer Type 4
Resident Evil 1-3
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1-2
Wipeout XL
Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Blood Omen
Soul Reaver
Tekken 3
Vagrant Story
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Oddworld Abe's Odyssey + Exodus
Final Fantasy Tactics
Chrono Cross
Silent Hill
Xenogears
The Legend of Dragoon
Twisted Metal 1 -3
Klonoa
Tomb Raider 1- 3
Suikoden 1 -2
Ape Escape
Bushido Blade 1 -2
Medal of Honor + Underground
Mega Man Legends
WWF Smackdown 1 +2
Spider-Man 1 +2
Driver 1 +2
Parappa the Rapper
Hogs of War
R-Tyoe Delta
Mr. Driller
One
Bloody Roar 1+2
Jade Cocoon
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne
Galerians
Tobal 2
Disruptor
Vandal Hearts
Alundra 1 +2
Ehrgeiz
Persona 1 +2
Heart of Darkness
Rival Schools
Tomba 1 +2
Star Ocean 1 +2
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
Legend of Legaia
Um Jammer Lammy

Yeah, sure are "weeb" games. Whatever the hell that means.
I thought we were talking about good games? :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Saber

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I love N64, but no way I would trully call innovative with things like memory pack. That thing was hideous, I couldn't use it at all, thank god most of games there didn't use it for save progress.
But games? Years ahead indeed.
 

Banjo64

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You're going to say those games are bad? Thanks for letting me know that you're not hear to discuss games, but take a side. Utterly pathetic.
There’s just no comparison to be had for comparing 80% of the games on your list to literal timeless classics that still influence game design today like Mario 64, OOT and Goldeneye.
 
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nkarafo

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You're going to say those games are bad? Thanks for letting me know that you're not hear to discuss games, but take a side. Utterly pathetic.
This is just a list of some popular and some random games.

The PS1 has literally almost 10x times bigger library than the N64, it's going to win by default if we just make lists of games and judge them by their size. Doesn't matter if the games are bad or good, the point of these lists is to "prove" that one console has "more good games" than the other and any system that has a more games will "win".

These lists are pointless. Both consoles have their fair share of good and bad games.
 
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Tschumi

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Just from a technical viewpoint N64 was a downscaled cgi computer used for movies like Terminator 2 and other blockbusters it was high tech stuff at the time. The hardware design philosophy of the PS was pushing and manipulating polygones as cheap and easy as possible. For example the typical texture warping of the PS was a direct result using hardware without calculating decimal numbers. It looks "funny" but saves a lot of rendering time and is way cheaper to produce.

Edit: found a complimentary vid for this thread
i kinda understood in the abstract that ps discs allowed for more information on things like textures, but that it used ram in weird ways that meant it was not as good as n64 for, like, solid colour 3d objects... i mean, i can see that, compare goldeneye to mgs1 and yeah, ugly as it was goldeneye had faces ... spyro to mario... and i believe crash bandicoot was one of the best looking games because naughty dog hacked the ps to achieve really high detail and polygon counts... but yeah ur video is instructive thanks ^_^
 

Quazar77

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Jan 7, 2018
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It was just missing Xenogears
Really? That’s ALL they were missing?
Captain America Lol GIF by mtv

You’re just going to skip over all 3D Final Fantasy games, mature games like Silent Hill, or even Resident Evil? Metal Gear Solid rings a bell? Tomb Raider? & a thousand more?

I ended only having like 7 games for N64 in the end. Quite disappointed in most of their library vs my tastes. If it weren’t for the Capcom exclusive deal for the Cube, N64 would have been my last Nintendo console
 

KingT731

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It's funny seeing N64 propped up with the analog stick and trigger accolades when Sega's 3D control pad released for Saturn had both and released a month before the N64. And even that was somewhat similar to the XE-1_AP analog controller released for the Mega Drice in Japan in 1989 for games like After Burner and Space Harrier. It even had shoulder buttons before SNES.

The thing Nintendo did that really stood out was the Z-buffer that smoothed out 3D motion. N64 games weren't nearly as janky in motion as PS1 or Saturn games.
This is true but one would hope a console that released 2 years after both the PS1/Saturn would be better.
 

AGRacing

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Playstation was the machine that brought 3D graphics home. To gloss over that is a sin. Ridge Racer was SO incredible looking at launch in 95 that it turned me from a schoolyard Sega fanboy almost instantly. It's too easy to blur that all together in 2021... but it was a DISTINCT moment then. Of course there's the old stories about what Sega may have "panic added" to the Saturn because of what was coming....

But all things considered... I can't call that PlayStation launch lineup anything if I can't call it innovative. It was a genuine shock.
 
Aug 5, 2009
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h

it was the moment when people started taking 3d gaming seriously. 2D to 3D n64 wrote the rules about moving in 3d space targeting etc.

Some of us on the micro 8bit and 16-bit computers were already taking 3D seriously. I will say mind only NCL were able to make a platform 3D game as good as Mario 64 at that time
 

Spukc

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Some of us on the micro 8bit and 16-bit computers were already taking 3D seriously. I will say mind only NCL were able to make a platform 3D game as good as Mario 64 at that time
aye aye i played elite long before the n64.. on my amstrad..
but i am talking mainstream not the first :p
 

Scotty W

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N64.

The ps copied every single innovation from somewhere else- usually Nintendo.

At the time, however, Sony won the generation. In retrospect, most PS1 games are as hideous and unplayable as NES games, whereas the N64 has fared marginally better.
 

fart town usa

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2 eras when it comes to these two consoles.

N64 was more innovative at first because of the analog stick on the N64. The N64 quickly became trash though once the PSX really started firing on all cylinders.

I'd go with PSX because of the game library, it completely destroys the N64. And I say this as someone who was a diehard Nintendo fanboy back then. The thought of owning a PlayStation seemed sacrilegious for the first few years. Eventually I played the PSX and realized what I was missing out on. Once I had a PSX I rarely went back to the N64.
 
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Naked Lunch

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Mario 64 changed gaming forever.
Playstation had Tomb Raider - but it controlled piss poor - Mario was on a whole other level and was the template for 3D gaming control moving forward.

Playstation's library is vastly superior - N64's is a joke in comparison.
PS's voice acting and FMV were big additions to gaming - but that Mario 64 innovation was too huge for the op's question.
 

Skifi28

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I guess it depends on how you view innovation. Technically the N64 had more stuff going on like rumble, analog, etc. But, did these innovations create games not possible before? I'd say probably not, games played better but these things didn't change what was possible. I'd argue the CD was more of game changer and allowed things not possible at all before.
 

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
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Stuck in 1Q84.
They both were. The N64 was more forward looking in terms of rendering, the PlayStation was cheaper to produce, easier to developer for and had Net Yaroze.

Although i only have owned PS1 and still do (1997 model still working ace) the N64 holds me dear because of its power. Its also the only machine from the 3D consoles that saw straight ports of Doom/Doom 2 and Linux.
 

ReBurn

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This is true but one would hope a console that released 2 years after both the PS1/Saturn would be better.
It definitely had more power and pushed more polygons. I always thought it was weird because N64 seemed to have sharper graphics overall but the textures always seemed worse on it and so many games used fog to hide issues with pop in and draw distance. PS1's texture warping bothered me too but nine of it really mattered as long as the games were fun.
 

Rran

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Wasn't the Sega Saturn the first 3D home console?

I guess it depends on how you view innovation. Technically the N64 had more stuff going on like rumble, analog, etc. But, did these innovations create games not possible before? I'd say probably not, games played better but these things didn't change what was possible. I'd argue the CD was more of game changer and allowed things not possible at all before.
I feel the opposite. The CD format allowed for CGI cutscenes, which really had very little to add to actual gameplay (outside of those silly FMV-type games like Night Trap), and the load times were very much a DETRIMENT to gameplay. Although to be fair, the boost in sound was nice.

N64, meanwhile, absolutely made gameplay that was not possible. Nothing was like Super Mario 64 and the analog stick at the time, it was a completely new style of game that has been used as the foundation for 3D gameplay leading up to today. Add in the rumble and Z-trigger and that's a trio of major innovations that have stood the test of time.

As for the libraries, I think the N64's top games beat the PS1's rather handily. But after the 20 or so best games of both systems, the N64 falls off while the PS1 still has some strong ones.
 
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PlayStation and innovation never go hand in hand. Which isn’t that bad. They rarely do anything bee but perfect what others created. PSP is still the best handheld ever.
 
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MiguelItUp

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Not to be THAT guy, but I think they were both incredibly innovative in their own right. Both excelled with different games and experiences.

People can beat on their chest and yell all they want about which one is "better", but the reality is, both shined very brightly when it came to innovation.
 

Rickyiez

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In the end it's software that decide who wins. This is very subjective but Nintendo64 has nothing against

Final Fantasy 7-9
Xenogears
Parasite Eve
Chrono Trigger
Vagrant Story
Silent Hill
Fear Effect
Metal Gear Solid
Fear Effect
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter Pocket
Tekken 3
Gran Turismo
Ridge Racer R4
Breath of Fire 4
Resident Evil 3
Dino Crisis
Castlevania SoTN
Syphon Filter
Soul Reaver Legacy of Kain

AMD many many more. This is the second best library of all time only second to the PS2 IMO
 
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Derktron

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PlayStation there needs no discussion, that was my first main console of my own when I was a kid
 

Derktron

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In the end it's software that decide who wins. This is very subjective but Nintendo64 has nothing against

Final Fantasy 7-9
Xenogears
Parasite Eve
Chrono Trigger
Vagrant Story
Silent Hill
Fear Effect
Metal Gear Solid
Fear Effect
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter Pocket
Tekken 3
Gran Turismo
Ridge Racer R4
Breath of Fire 4
Resident Evil 3
Dino Crisis
Castlevania SoTN
Syphon Filter
Soul Reaver Legacy of Kain

AMD many many more. This is the second best library of all time only second to the PS2 IMO
Umm you are missing one game from Sony --- The Legend of Dragoon one of the best RPG games ever made from Sony if not ever
 
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Jun 10, 2020
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Are we really suggesting the CD was a PlayStation innovation?

Forgetting the Saturn released days before? Not to mention other more niche consoles with CD-ROM released years before?

PS was an amazing console what great games is concerned, but come on.
The Saturn was designed primarely as a 2D console, sega put that powerfull co-processor way to late in. So only very skillfull first party devs could use that power back then. PS 3D with all the CD benefits was designed form the start.
 

Azelover

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To me it's no contest, it's definitely the N64.

The PS was basically a conglomerate of things that worked, elsewhere. Great console, but it was not the most innovative.
 
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From a hardware perspective, Nintendo made analog sticks, triggers and rumble mainstream. We're still using those nowadays. This is a win for the N64.

But I think PlayStation really made games mainstream and was able to kill the idea they were for kids.

Overall, I would say they were both important in shaping today's gaming landscape, though I'd give PS the edge considering how many series still alive today were born there
How did they make any of those "mainstream", when The mainstream console was the PSone that dwarfed N64 in sales, and was sold with a Dualshock controller that as we all can see became the standard controller for all consoles.
 

assurdum

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From a hardware perspective, Nintendo made analog sticks, triggers and rumble mainstream. We're still using those nowadays. This is a win for the N64.

But I think PlayStation really made games mainstream and was able to kill the idea they were for kids.

Overall, I would say they were both important in shaping today's gaming landscape, though I'd give PS the edge considering how many series still alive today were born there
I wouldnt't call a win anything relative the N64 which almost shut down nintendo, they abandoned even the controller design...the choice to use the cartridge and such horrible RAM was incredible stupid. Only the CD ROM driver probably would have changed the nintendo fate with the condamn of underpowered hardware release for the rest of their existence.
 
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Aug 5, 2009
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aye aye i played elite long before the n64.. on my amstrad..
but i am talking mainstream not the first :p
Well, the ZX Spectrum (RIP Sir Clive) was rather mainstream in the UK and even that little system had some nice 3D games. I was well into 3D on my Atari ST with the amazing F29 sim and Geoff's amazing GPF1 and then when I had my uncle's Amiga loved the likes of Elite 2, Bird or Pray Ect. Maybe that's why NCL had to go running to the UK to learn how to do 3D?
 
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