The Nintendo64 hit the shops in japan on June 23rd 1996; costing $199 was a rival for Sony’s psx. Even though the n64 did not have as many titles as the psx it did have a successful run in the market. Producing first party titles like Super Mario 64, Zelda, Lylat Wars and arguably the greatest first person shooter of all time, Goldeneye. Myself, I cannot begin to explain the amount of time I have lost in my life to playing the N64. In fact, I can even remember playing a first to 100 all night battle with a mate on Mario Kart balloon battle mode. We got to 73 before started to fall asleep midgame, waking up on the end of a fishing rod. There was a good selection of third party games that came from even Playstation developers, like Wipeout, Ridge Racer and Duke Nukem. It was the greatest multiplayer console of its time. Which I think is the main reason for its success in the industry, wouldn't find a cool pad anywhere without one and a range of multicoloured controllers. Massively helped by the fact that it was the first console with 4 controller ports (wait was Dreamcast first?).
Where to start?
Anyway, you are probably reading this to find out where to start with being able to play those memories on your trusty Xperia PLAY? Well there is two bits of software you need essentially; the console (emulator) and the games (game roms). The emulator (console) part is just an app that you install just like any other and then the game roms (N64 games) you will have to download seperately. We have tested nearly all of the Nintendo 64 emulators that are available for Android, some of them are available on Market and some are not. In fact at the time of writting this and the time of you reading this, those available on Market may have been removed.
Mupen64 Plus [Available on android market for £0.69]
At the moment, the only Nintendo 64 emulator for Xperia PLAY that uses the analogue touch pads for the analogue control and the c-buttons of the N64 controller. Truely for this reason alone the best N64 experience you can geton any portable device (even the DS in my opinion). We have covered off this emulator in our gaming news section in a bit more detail which you can see here. The only downside is that unlike N64oid, it doesn't have the vast experience in perfecting power hungry titles like Goldeneye or Zelda. So compatibility with the the vast catalogue of Roms is not quite there yet. However... developer Paul Lamb is working on it as we speak and will continue as an ongoing project.
N64oid [Available on Slideme.com for £3.99]
This is the best one by a long shot but as with a lot of emulators still has its issues. i think it's far to say that N64 is probably the limit of what the Xperia PLAY can emulate from the old school consoles, which is probably where most of the lagging and stuttering comes from on N64oid rather than poor encoding. The menu is very easy to use and the games that do work, work very well. The latest version even gives you the rumble pak effect using the vibration alert on the phone... how cool?!? The one downside is ofcourse though is that it doesn't support the analogue touch pads... yet!
Real64 [Available on Android Market for £3.07]
We are not entirely sure, but we think that this is actually the same as N64oid but just named differently so it can get back on Market. Can't be certain for sure mind you. The reason we think this, is that the menus and everything is exactly the same. If it's still on market, download this instead.
Bit64 [available on Android market free with adds]
This emulator is free but that is because it comes with Adds!!! Adds... on an emulator! unfortunately this is the killing drawback to this one as the adds actually cause more laging than others.
N64 Arcade [available on Android market priced £0.99]
This emulator is very cheap but not very cheerful as it has the most freezing and lagging issues of any of them. Not one we would recommend so until it updates to a more stable version, please avoid.
Key Mapping the N64 Emulator
So if you have an iPhone or other generic Android device, you wil have to play using the virtual on screen buttons. The genius of the Xperia PLAY means you alreay have the control pad, you just need to map the buttons to those of the emulator. Don't worry its very easy, just click the options button and folow Options>Controller>Key Mappng. Then click on each input and assign them to match the below:
Analogue stick= virtual stick on screen as games like Mario really need full analogue movement
C buttons = on screen as usually only used to change views in most game’s so not normally used but if need to map certain c button’s use triangle and circle in certain game’s
Left trigger=select button as least used button on pad
Right trigger=right trigger
Z back button=left trigger as feels similar to using the n64 pad with your left index finger
This video shows how the controller keys are assigned to the Xperia PLAY using the N64oid.
The Video Games
Now you’re set up let’s get on with the games. Once you have the emulator installed you just need to download some games to your memory card. There are thousands of websites that have vast libraries of roms available to download for free. You could simply just input to your search engine 'N64 roms' and a list will come up naturally, there isn't any tricks because these game roms are the same files for PC, MAC, Android and other emulators of all operating systems. We use mostly use coolrom.com or doperoms.com. Just downoa dthe games and save them to your memory card in a separate folder. Most emulators run file types like .z64 and .v64 and is compressed to around 10 to 25mb per game which is really good for space on your SD card’s as you could fit your entire preferred game’s library into the space of one psx game Iso but still have the graphical and gameplay side of a new aged console. Saves are done in game or using the save state feature.
Unlike like most of the other platform’s emulator’s n64oid has compatibility problem’s with game’s hit and miss really if they work or not and how well. The dev is still bringing out update’s each time more game’s work but still not great at the moment with I say only 6-7 out of 10 working. But lucky most of the top title’s work without any problem’s like Mario 64, Mario Kart64, Zelda’s and only a few slow down issue’s with Goldeneye but playable.