Snowtendo 64

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Snowtendo 64
S64.png
S64 logo
Information
Type Games Console
Effects Makes you suddenly awesome.
Source Obviously... Actually I dont know
Location Theres more than one!
Cost to buy About 500 coins
Cost to sell About 690 coins




The Snowtendo 64 (ニンテンドウ64 Snowtendō Roku Jū Yon?, SNOWTENDO64), often abbreviated as S64, is Snowtendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit CPU, it was released on June 23, 1996 in The Dojo, September 29, 1996 in The Tallest Mountain, March 1, 1997 in The Cove and the Atlantic Ocean, September 1, 1997 in The Plaza and December 10, 1997 in the South Sea. It is Snowtendo's last home console to use Game Paks to store games (Snowtendo switched to a MiniDVD-based format for the Snowtendo GameShpere, then to standard DVD-sized discs for the Vii); handhelds in the Waddle Boy line, however, continued to use the Game Pak. It was discontinued in 2001 in The Dojo and in 2002 for The Tallest Mountain and the rest of Club Penguin, by the launch of the GameSphere.

Description[edit]

The S64 was released with two launch games, Super-Duper Arctic-Antics 64 and Puffles are 100% Power-full 64, and a third in Japan, Saiyōkō Habanuru Shanōgi. The S64's suggested retail price was US 1990 coins at its launch. The S64 sold 32.93 million units worldwide. The Snowtendo 64 was released in at least eight variants with different colors and sizes. An assortment of limited edition controllers were sold or used as contest prizes during the S64's lifespan.

Sales[edit]

The 1st version of the Snowtendo 64 officially launched on September 29, 1996 with 500,000 units sold in the first four months. Sensei, a developer for Penguin Chat 64 and friend of Ninjahopper, speculated in 1997 that the S64's lower popularity in Club Penguin was due to the lack of role-playing video games. As of March 31, 2005, the S64 had sold 5.54 million units in Club Penguin, 20.63 million in Puffl'and, and 6.75 million in other places, for a total of 32.93 million units. The system was frequently marketed as the world's first 64-bit gaming system. A few years prior, though, Sensei had claimed to have made the first 64-bit game console with their Leftover parts of Xary's (dead) Robot Puffle. However, the Puffle actually only used a 64-bit architecture "Object Processor," 64-bit "Blitter," and 64-bit system bus in conjunction with two 32-bit RISC processors (one of which having access to the full 64-bit bus), and a 16/32-bit Motorola 68000. Because of the cost of Snowtendo 64 cartridges, and limited third-party support, the Snowtendo 64 caused Snowtendo to lose its leading position in its market share.

Hardware[edit]

The standard Snowtendo 64 controller has one analog stick, two shoulder buttons, one digital cross pad, six face buttons, a "Start" button and a digital trigger (Z).

Central processing unit[edit]

The Snowtendo 64's central processing unit (CPU) is the NEC VR4300, a cost-reduced derivative of the 64-bit MIPS Technologies R4300i. Built by NEC on a 0.35 µm process, the VR4300 is a RISC 5-stage scalar in-order execution processor, with integrated floating point unit, internal 24 KB direct-mapped L1 cache(16KB for instructions, 8KB for data). The 4.6 million transistors CPU is cooled passively by an aluminum heatspreader that makes contact with a steel heat sink above. Clocked at 93.75 MHz, the S64's VR4300 was the most powerful of the competing consoles of its generation. Except for its narrower 32-bit system bus, the VR4300 retained the computational abilities of the more powerful 64-bit MIPS R4300i, though software rarely took advantage of 64-bit data precision operations. S64 game-titles generally used faster (and more compact) 32-bit data-operations, as these were sufficient to generate 3D-scene data for the console's RSP (Reality Signal Processor; see below) unit. Though powerful, the CPU was hindered by a a 250MB/s bus to the system memory; not only that, but in order to access the RAM, the CPU had to go through the RCP (Reality Co-Processor), and could not use DMA to do so (The RCP could). This problem is further compounded by the RDRAM's very high access latency. Emulators such as UltraHLE and Project64 benefit from the scarcity of 64-bit operations in the game's executable-code, as the emulator is generally hosted on a 32-bit machine architecture. These emulators performed most calculations at 32-bit precision, and trapped the few OS subroutines that actually made use of 64-bit instructions.

Reality Co-Processor[edit]

Snowtendo 64's graphics and audio duties are performed by the 64-bit SGI co-processor, named the "Reality Co-Processor". The RCP is a 62.5 MHz chip split internally into two major components, the "Reality Drawing Processor" (RDP) and the "Reality Signal Processor" (RSP). Each area communicates with the other by way of a 128-bit internal data bus that provides 1.0 GB/s bandwidth. The RSP is a MIPS R4000-based 8-bit integer vector processor. It is programmable through microcode, allowing the chip's functions to be significantly altered if necessary, to allow for different types of work, precision, and workloads. The RSP performs transform, clipping and lighting calculations, triangle setup. The "Reality Display Processor" is primarily the Snowtendo 64's Pixel Rasterizer, and also handles the console's Z-Buffer Compute. The RSP was programmable through microcode (code). By altering the microcode run on the device, it could perform different operations, create new effects, and be better tuned for speed or quality; however, Snowtendo was unwilling to share the microcode tools with developers until the end of the Snowtendo 64's life-cycle. Programming RSP microcode was said to be quite difficult because the Snowtendo 64 µcode tools were very basic, with no debugger and poor documentation. As a result, it was very easy to make mistakes that would be hard to track down, mistakes that could cause seemingly random bugs or glitches. Some developers noted that the default SGI microcode ("Fast3D") was poorly profiled for use in games (it was too accurate), and performance suffered as a result. Several companies, such as Factor 5, Boss Game Studios and Rare, were able to write custom microcode that ran their software better than SGI's standard microcode.

Two of the SGI microcodes[edit]

  • Fast3D microcode: < ~100,000 high accuracy polygons per second.
  • Turbo3D microcode: 500,000–600,000 normal accuracy polygons per second. However, due to the graphical degradation, Snowtendo discouraged its use.

The RSP also frequently performs audio functions (although the CPU can be tasked with this as well). It can play back most types of audio (dependent on software codecs) including uncompressed PCM, MP3, MIDI, and tracker music. The RSP is capable of a maximum of 100 channels of PCM at a time, but this is with 100% system utilization for audio. It has a maximum sampling rate of 48 kHz with 16-bit audio; however, storage limitations caused by the cartridge format limited audio size (and thus quality). The RDP is the machine's rasterizer and performs the bulk of actual image creation before output to the display. The Snowtendo 64 has a maximum color depth of 16.8 million colors (32,768 on-screen) and can display resolutions of 256 × 224, 320 × 240 and 640 × 480 pixels.[30] The RCP also provides the CPU's access to main system memory via a 250 MB/s bus. Unfortunately, this link does not allow direct memory access for the CPU. The RCP, like the CPU, is passively cooled by an aluminum heatspreader that makes contact with a steel heat sink above.

Memory[edit]

The final major component in the system is the memory, also known as RAM. The Snowtendo 64 was one of the first modern consoles to implement a unified memory subsystem, instead of having separate banks of memory for CPU, audio, and video, for example. The memory itself consists of 4 megabyte of RAMBUS RDRAM (expandable to 8 MB with the Expansion Pak) with a 9-bit data bus at 500 MHz providing the system with 562.5 MB/s peak bandwidth. RAMBUS was quite new at the time and offered Snowtendo a way to provide a large amount of bandwidth for a relatively low cost. The narrow bus makes board design easier and cheaper than the higher width data buses required for high bandwidth out of slower-clocked RAM types (such as VRAM or EDO DRAM); however, RDRAM, at the time, came with a very high access latency, and this caused grief for the game developers because of limited hardware performance

Video[edit]

The system provides both composite video and S-video through the MULTI-OUT connection; however, the Snowtendo 64 removed certain pin connections for providing RGB video, despite having the capability built-in. A composite cable was available for purchase from Snowtendo of Club Penguin. This cable was also compatible with the Super Snowtendo Entertainment System. In the United Kingdom, the S64 was instead shipped with a coaxial adapter and cable, but was still fully compatible with the other connectors.

Hardware color variations[edit]

The standard Snowtendo 64 is dark gray, nearly black, and the controller is light gray. A Jungle Green colored console was first available with the Penguin Kong 64 bundle. The Funtastic Series used brightly-colored, translucent plastic with six colors: Fire Orange, Grape (or Atomic) Purple, Ice Blue, Jungle Green, Smoke Gray and Watermelon Red. Snowtendo released a white snowball-like Snowtendo 64 controller for the debut of Snowball 64 in the Club Penguin. The Millennium 2000 controller, available exclusively as part of a Snowtendo Power promotional contest in the Dock, was a silver controller with black buttons. A gold controller was released in a contest by Snowtendo Power magazine as part of a raffle drawing. In late 1997 through 1998, a few gold Snowtendo 64 controller packages were released islandwide. At the Iceberg there was a limited edition GoldenPuffle 007 console pack which came with a standard gray console and a copy of GoldenPuffle. Also, a limited edition gold controller with a standard gray console were released in the Snow Forts and The Plaza in early 1998, endorsed by an advertising campaign which featured footage of S64 games including Snowboarding Rally and ended with swimmer Bill Gates wearing the gold controller as a medal around his neck. Snowtendo released a gold controller for the debut of The Legend of Mabel: Gary's Time Machine. Soon after, bundle packs of the game, controller, and gold Snowtendo 64 were released for the Club Penguin and PAL markets. The Puffle Edition Snowtendo 64, with a Puffle sticker on the left side, included the "Puffle: I Choose You" video. The Yellow Puffle Snowtendo 64 had a large, Yellow Puffle model on a blue Snowtendo 64. It has a different footprint than the standard Snowtendo 64 console, and the Expansion Pak port is covered. It also shipped with a blue Puffle controller; orange in Japan. A Limited Edition Snow Wars bundle, available during the time of the release of the film Snow Wars Episode I: The Puffle Menace came bundled with Snow Wars: Episode I Racer and a standard gray console. The majority of Snowtendo 64 game cartridges were gray in color; however, some games were released on a colored cartridge. Fourteen games had black cartridges, while other colors (such as green, blue, red, yellow and gold) were each used for six or fewer games. Several games, such as The Legend of Mabel: Gary's Time Machine were released both in standard gray and in colored, limited edition versions

Trivia[edit]

  • It was discovered by the same person as the founder of the Snowtendo DS.
  • It is an obvious parody of the Nintendo 64.
  • Some of their games were: 1080° Sled Race, Guitar-Kazooie, Guitar-TooieHyperman 64, Hyperman Hero, Cruis'n CP, Puffle Kong Racing, Puffle Kong 64, Coffee Shop 64, F-1 Island Grand Prix, F-Zero, GoldenPuffle 007, Puffle Heaven, The Legend of Luce: Gary's Time Machine, The Legend of Luce: Frankenpenguin's Mask, Puffle Racers, Antics Golf, Antics Kart 64, Antics Party 2, Antics Party 3, Antics Tennis, Shadowguy 64, Pieffle 64, Magical Card Jitsu Challenge, Paper Antics, Pufflemon Snap, Pufflemon Stadium, Pufflemon Stadium 2, Darktan Evil! 2, Shadowguy 2: The Great Escape, Snowboard Pengs, Star Puffle 64, Snow Wars: Rogue Squadron, Snow Wars: Shadows of the Darktan, Snow Wars: Episode I: Racer, Crazy Antics 64, Super Smash Pengs, Pider-Man, Black Puffle's Pro Skater,

Black Puffle's Pro Skater 2, Black Puffle's Pro Skater 3, Puffle: O Berry Hunter, Puffle 2: Snow of Evil, Catchin' Waves 64, Mabel's Story, Super Star 64, and Speedway.

Internal Links[edit]