As much as we all love the Nintendo 64, playing games specifically made for the 1990s console on a modern TV can be quite a drag. Fortunately, Pixel FX promises to have a solution: N64Digital, which the company claims will deliver “Crystal clear HDMI video”.
What’s more, you won’t have long to wait: the N64Digital is set to be released in April 2021.
The N64 first came out in 1996/97, so it’s no surprise that titles for the console don’t look quite up to scratch anymore. Colours look faded. Edges aren’t as sharp as they should be. Before now, the best way to rescue these games from resolution limbo has been through the use of an Ultra HDMI upscaler. Pixel FX promises its N64Digital features:
- Digital lag-free HDMI output up to 1080p.
- Analog RGB/YPbPR through multi-out.
- Simple firmware update procedure via WiFi.
- Video Filters: Deblur/ Scalines/ Smoothing.
Obviously, they’re not the first company to try to fix this issue, but others have remained in development hell for some time, or created a product that simply wasn’t good enough. This announcement, then, is hugely exciting.
And doubly so due to the severe lack of N64 titles ported to Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch. If you managed to pick up a copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, you’ll be lucky enough to play the much-loved 1996 platformer, Super Mario 64; otherwise, there are only four N64 titles currently available on the Switch – the two Turoks from 1997 and 1998, Doom 64, and Star Wars Episode I: Racer.
Philip Bates is the co-founder and editor of The Doctor Who Companion. His most recent books are 100 Objects of Dr Who, and The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang. His first console was the SNES and he’s been an avid fan of Nintendo ever since (with brief sojourns into the realms of the PlayStation).