Topic: Fun read on Nintendo/Netscape's attempts to create online gaming network for N64.

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The article talks about how Netscape was almost never created because the creators wanted to make an online gaming network for Nintendo 64 instead, and Nintendo was willing to fund it. It's fun to think about how N64 could have had the first online gaming network before Xbox Live or Dreamcast.

It's an interesting read because Nintendo always gets called out for being "slower than the competition" in jumping on online gaming. Especially in relations to the Wii and Wii U. Yet the article shows a timeline of Nintendo and Netscape trying to get an online network created multiple times throughout the Nintendo 64's history. It's also interesting because a lot of the ideas they had during the N64 days (like the original ideas for Randnet) for online gaming, are ideas they are using with Wii and Wii U. One of the ideas reminded me of Miiverse.

The article even shows Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's former president and Nintendo of America's Howard Lincoln, expressing interest in online gaming with Netscape's Navio company. There were rumors from IGN of Netscape creating online software for the Nintendo GameCube too.

Edited on by Conker3000



One of the weird things that's always bothered me is way back in the NES era I saw this news program on TV (I think it was on 20/20 or something) where they were talking about how there was a piece of technology built into the NES that would one day allow you to play video games over phone lines against your friends. Of course, that never happened, but clearly they were talking about something like the Internet. Was there ever actually any component in the NES that could have made that possible though, because they made it sound like it was something already built-in for future use, but even if the NES had the equivalent of a modem built-in to it, it's not like it even has a jack to allow you to connect it to a phone line? The whole thing seems so bizarre I almost wonder if I dreamed it up, but it was before I ever had a clue about anything like the Internet, so I don't think it's possible I could have imagined it.

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Sega also had early online ambitions. Remember Sega TV and they had ideas to want to take the Saturn online as well. But times would had just been too early for it, hell, even most people werent ready for Dreamcast online. Think every console manufacturer probably knew the great potential of online play but it just took awhile to mature. - Dayman
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Ha, and to think online isn't Nintendos thing

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The Super Nintendo had online gaming with XBAND.


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Actually, the Famicom and SNES were both online compatible (in Japan). The SNES' Satelaview system enabled DLC.

Years before SEGA, Sony and Microsoft.

In fact, all of Nintendo's home consoles have had online capablity (in one form or another).

Great find, Conker!

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The Mega Drive in Japan also had some downloadable games in Japan (though I don't know if they could be stored, or if they were only temporarily downloaded to RAM like the Sega Channel). Apparently there were a couple retail games that could use the modem for online play.

The NES modem that's been discussed was an unlicensed accessory, though I've heard of another that supposedly was official. Though the only app announced for that was by the Minnesota State Lottery. It was essentially selling slightly interactive scratch tickets (playable but rigged to give a pre-determined result). Probably controversial for at least a few reasons. (I can only guess maybe they hadn't yet made laws forbidding online gambling for real money.)



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