Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nintendo 64DD Collector's Guide: Part 1

We all know the interesting and eclectic history of Nintendo's failed N64 peripheral, the 64DD. Nintendo announced the 64DD as a way of combating the high price of cartridge games as well as rivaling Sony's Playstation for raw memory space. The add-on lingered in development hell for several years after being revealed but instead of shelving the hardware, Nintendo released it. The Nintendo 64DD was a huge commercial failure. Only 15,000 pieces sold and the remaining 85,000 pieces that Nintendo had originally hoped would sell were scrapped. That is how bad of a failure this add-on was.

The 64DD went on sale December 1st, 1999 after originally debuting 4 years earlier at the Nintendo World event. The piece originally retailed at ¥30,000. It was available sparingly in stores in 2000. Knowing that it was doomed to fail, Nintendo made it largely available through a mail-in subscription. This service was called Randnet, formed and named after the two companies that started it, Nintendo and Recruit, a Japanese advertising corporation. Here's the commercial video for the add-on.

As a collector, most people gravitate towards this interesting little oddity due to the novelty of it and the fact that it is a true piece of Nintendo memorabilia but then they look at the price and turn away. The market on this piece is all over the place. I have seen them sell for $200 and I have seen them sell for $1,500. There is no stability in this market. Another big problem when trying to purchase on are the extras. The 64DD launched with a keyboard, a mouse, a special "Capture Cart", a modem cart, and 9 different games. Most auctions you find come with some of these extras, which in turn increases the cost. Since this is just Part 1, I will help you buy just the peripheral itself.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is the Retail version and the Randnet version. The only differences is the packaging and the Randnet version comes with the modem cart, modem disc, and phone cable. They both come with the red-topped expansion pack that would later be shipped with every copy of Donkey Kong 64.
This is the Retail version and sells normally for around $500-$700. It is worth more than the Randnet version despite containing less, this is due to an extremely limited release later in the 8-month lifespan of the add-on.

You can often find these on eBay for around $400 complete in box. This was the version sold through subscription and Nintendo tried to buy them back in 2000. Some didn't get returned and are now in the hands of collectors.

If you want to purchase just the 64DD by itself, good luck. It is hard to get them unless they are bundled with something but be willing to pay more than $300. I have some good news, they are compatible with NTSC-region N64's so you don't have to purchase a JAP-region one to use it.

Now go buy one and stay tuned for Part 2: The 9 Games of the 64DD!


Anonymous said...

Holy Sh*t! These work with the US N64. I really thought you needed the JAP system for these. Were there any games worth looking for other than M3?

JackintheBox333 said...

There is the F-Zero X Expansion kit, but I have no idea if that actually works with the English version of F-Zero X.

Rico Perez said...

F-Zero X needs the Japanese version for the expansion.


Matthew Culley said...

I actually just completed my 64DD collection. I was never able to get my hands on the keyboard, Doshin the Giant 2, or Japan Pro Tour Golf 64. Then I lived in Japan for a year and while I was there I was able to find all the missing pieces of my collection. :)

Anonymous said...

How much did a complete 66DD set you back?

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