The Nintendo 64 was a well-known gaming console. This console made waves when it was released in 1996, bringing video game graphics fully into 3D and serving as a beacon of hope for the future of the Nintendo brand. This was also during the console wars between Sega and Nintendo, thanks to the early ’90s heavy hitters: the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. Sega effectively hit a brick wall with the introduction of both the Nintendo 64 and Sony’s PlayStation, while Nintendo rolled on.
When it was first released, the Nintendo 64’s cartridge-based system seemed reasonable — after all, that’s what the previous two generations had been using. Unfortunately, the cartridge era was nearing its end, owing to significant data storage limitations compared to the competition — CDs — which Sony used in the first PlayStation. As a result, Nintendo lost a key player in its marketing strategy: Square Enix. Square Enix decided to collaborate with Sony to bring the “Final Fantasy” series to the PlayStation, bringing the console much more attention (via Nintendo Life.)
Despite this, the Nintendo 64 became known for its iconic games, such as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” and “Super Mario 64.” At the same time, Nintendo released a little-known peripheral. The Nintendo 64DD was announced prior to the release of the original N64 console, but it was not available until 1999. The Nintendo 64DD not only expanded the N64’s data storage capacity, but it also enabled the console to connect to the internet.
What the Nintendo 64DD is worth today
According to an old Nintendo Japan listing, the Nintendo 64DD was given to those who signed up for Randnet, an internet service that allowed users to surf the web and even send and receive e-mail. The N64DD was attached to the bottom of the original console and included a disc drive that could store data on 64MB magnetic discs. The Nintendo 64DD was never released outside of Japan during its brief existence. Randnet was officially closed down in 2001, and production of the N64 disc drive ceased (via IGN.)
According to Price Charting, if you can find one of these accessories today, they sell for around $1,500 due to their scarcity. If you find one that is complete and still in its original box, it will most likely cost you around $2,900. You can expect to pay $7,830 or more for a unit in new condition. Despite its failure, the device has become a novelty in the retro gaming world, with prices far exceeding what it was worth years ago.
Above is a video of a rare US version of the peripheral, which was apparently only ever made as a prototype for a product that never made it to store shelves. If you come across one of these at a garage sale, buy it!