The Nintendo 64DD (DD is short for Disk Drive or Dynamic Drive) is a magnetic disk drive peripheral for the Nintendo 64 game console developed by Nintendo released only in Japan on December 1, 1999 and was discontinued on February 28, 2001, before the release of the Nintendo GameCube.
Why It Flopped
- Only TEN disks (9 games and 1 utility disk) were released for it.
- It used a proprietary magnetic disk format which could only store aproximately 1/10th of what a CD-ROM could store. The 64DD disk only holds up 64 MB of data, while CD-ROMs hold even more than that, up to 650 or 700 MB. Plus 64MB N64 cartridges already existed, so that makes this disk format pointless other than being produced at low costs.
- 64DD disks were also a bit more expensive to manufacture than CD-ROMs.
- Its release was constantly delayed, because of the protracted development between the disks and drive technologies, meaning that by the time it did come out, it didn't last too long in the market against the other competing consoles, especially with the Dreamcast having been released in Japan in 1998.
- Initially, it was only available in the Randnet Starter Kit via mail order.
- Later on, though, small quantities of the add-on were sold in stores.
- Mother 3 (EarthBound 64 in the West) was cancelled, due to the Nintendo 64DD being discontinued. It was eventually remade as a Japanese-exclusive title for the Game Boy Advance.
- It wasn't particularly expensive.
- That being said, however, the 64DD and its software titles command very high prices on eBay.
- 64DD disks were much faster, more flexible and durable than CD-ROMs, and they also have copy protection.
- The disks were difficult to break, unlike the fragile ones from the older Famicom Disk System.
- The design of the disc drive blends in with the base N64.
Games That Were Cancelled or Ported to other systems
There were over 60 games that were planned for the 64DD, including:
- 7th Legion
- Automobili Lamborghini Add-On
- DD Sequencer
- Derby Stallion 64
- Desert Island: No Man's Island
- Dezaemon 3D Expansion Kit
- Pokémon Snap
- Mother 3 (N64)
- Super Mario 64 2
- and many more...
Rating the overall system at 6.0 out of 10.0, IGN's Peer Schneider finds the industrial design language of the 64DD and its accessories to perfectly match and integrate with that of the Nintendo 64, with no user-accessible moving parts, a single mechanical eject button, sharing the N64's power button, and child-friendly usability.