Incidentally: 22 years ago today Nintendo 64DD has more online features than Switch
The Nintendo 64DD remains a fascinating part of the company’s history, with the expansion ultimately short-lived and limited to the Japanese market. Although it was not a commercial success after frequent delays and its close proximity to the GameCube, it helped pave the way for new ideas.
A good example is Randnet Disk, launched 22 years ago today (February 23) in Japan; hat-tip for Nintendo Reddit topic ‘on this day’. While Nintendo’s partnership with Randnet dates back to the launch of the expansion system the previous December, this disc release unlocks a full set of features for subscribers. Yes, if you don’t pay for anything internet related these days you should look at the price back in the day.
The video above provides an interesting synopsis, and the applied research shows that it was quite impressive at the time. As we mentioned in our title, ironically, it has some features that obviously never made it to the Switch. For example, it has a full web browser; The Switch has this, but it’s not an app that users can access at will, possibly because the Wii U equivalent is a notorious security weakness. This 64DD app also allows you to send emails!
Randnet discs also have some familiar-sounding features. For example, there are message boards for chatting with other players and interacting with the developers, which immediately reminds us of the Miiverse on the Wii U/3DS. It also features original equivalents to familiar offerings, including the ability to purchase apps and games online. It even has its own currency that you will use to purchase these downloadable products, which seems like a Wii Point to us.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Randnet Disk has necessarily been the inspiration for the likes of Miiverse and Wii Points, as different stages of Nintendo’s online offerings have adopted many ideas and approaches. different proximity.
Still, it’s interesting to see ideas like this implemented on the Nintendo 64, albeit via a Japan-only expansion.