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Introducing the Doctor V64, a Bootleg N64 Development Unit

Every once in a while, I come across a gaming device that utterly fascinates me. Recently, Youtuber MetalJesusRocks wowed me when he showed off a US retail prototype of the Nintendo 64DD disk drive add-on. This latest find, however, has me at an absolute loss. What the hell is this thing? How have I never heard about it? And where can I get one? This ”thing” is the Doctor V64 development console, a bootleg add-on for the Nintendo 64. It was released in 1996 by Bung Enterprises Ltd and retailed for $450. While expensive for the time, it turns out it was a popular option for some third-party developers. Apparently, it was a much cheaper alternative to Nintendo’s official dev kit, which was made by Silicon Graphics. The Center for Computing History recently grabbed one and put it through its paces: The Doctor V64 attaches to the bottom of the N64 via its expansion slot, just like the 64DD does. An official Nintendo 64 game cartridge must be plugged into the base console in order to bypass its region lockout chip. The Doctor 64 features a CD drive that can read N64 ROMs and load them into the machine’s RAM. Once loaded, the user could select a ROM, power up the N64, and play the game smoothly. Although the Doctor V64 was sold as a budget development kit, it doesn’t take a genius to realize it had more utility as a way to play pirated games. The CD drive also acts as a video CD player, a format very popular in Asia at the time. The Doctor V64 has a 25-pin serial port in back that allows connection to a PC. This allows users to dump ROMs directly into the V64’s ram, bypassing the CD drive. Granted, the Doctor V64 is not nearly as rare as MetalJesusRocks’s Us 64DD. Still, I would love to own one for…historical purposes.

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Hardiman808d ago

You know I was really excited about the concept of owning a 64DD back in the day but it wasn't to be but that recent one showing up was super cool to see.

TheCommentator807d ago

Yeah, I remember how exciting it was to hear about the add-ons Banjo Tooie, Luigi 64, and F-Zero with its course editor. It would have been interesting, but it was a wise decision to cancel its release in the states considering the success of add-ons in general.

807d ago