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NINTENDO Supercharge your gaming experience with the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak. (Works with selected titles only.)
Accessories/Expansion Pak
Expansion Pak Detailed Specs
The Expansion Pak is a 4-megabyte Random Access Memory (RAM) cartridge that inserts into the top of the Nintendo 64 game console. There is a removable panel on the top of the console, and the 4 meg Expansion Pak simply slides into the slot. (Please follow the instructions included with the Expansion Pak carefully.) The Expansion Pak allows developers to create games with larger worlds, bigger animation sequences, and more complex game play. Total RAM memory will increase to 8MB, allowing players to enjoy select N64 games using a "high resolution" option. High resolution graphics are crisper and contain a higher definition than the already brilliant N64 graphics.

The Expansion Pak is compatible only with games developed with a high-resolution mode. Some games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, require the Expansion Pak to function. Others, such as Perfect Dark, do not require it, but it is needed to open all of the game's functions.


What is the Expansion Pak?
A special cartridge that contains an additional 4 Megabytes (MB) of Rambus RDRAM memory. Simply stated, the Expansion Pak is a special cartridge that contains an additional 4 Megabytes (MB) of Rambus RDRAM memory. When inserted in the "memory expansion" port on the top of the N64 memory is added directly to the N64's existing 4 MB of memory, bringing us to 8 MB of contiguous main memory.
TO KEY
Does it make all games "high res?"
The most common "expansion" will likely be to increase the screen resolution. The answer to this question depends on how the programmers choose to use the additional memory in their particular game. Every aspect of the game could potentially benefit from the additional RAM. The most common "expansion" will likely be to increase the screen resolution of the game, from 320 pixels by 240 pixels to as much as 640 x 480.
What else can you do with the Expansion Pak?
Everything could benefit from more RAM. Since the unified memory is used for everything on N64, potentially everything could benefit from more RAM.

Here are some possibilities:
More Animations Animation data is something that is typically loaded into RAM before it is needed. Having more RAM for information data will allow a character to have more moves and greater realism.
Increased Color Depth Most games today run in 16-bit color, which provides a range of 65,000 colors with 8 levels of transparency (alpha). The N64 is capable of 32-bit color (16.7 million colors with 256 levels of alpha) but it requires frame buffers that are twice as large.
More Sophisticated AI More complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) code could perhaps reduce the need for enemies, players or characters to share AI. This will lead to more realistic and diverse behaviors when the characters in a game do not all behave in the same way. Additionally, the computer-controller characters can simply be smarter with better AI. Games such as Turok 2 and GoldenEye 007 have sophisticated AI that contributes to the game significantly.
Larger Levels or Worlds The additional RAM can be used to simply expand the scope of the game by having larger worlds, longer tracks, etc. Each of these things imply more RAM space for polygon data, texture data, etc.
More Characters or Vehicles Each vehicle or character in a game requires a certain amount of code and data that must reside in RAM (AI code, animation data, texture data, polygon data, weapons effects, etc.) The additional RAM could be used to provide a more intense game by having more enemies, racers, or whatever.
More Textures One of the key elements to improving the graphic quality of a game is to reduce the re-use of texture data. The additional RAM could buffer a larger number of textures providing a more "rich" look to the game.
Better Frame Rate Normally a game will have two frame buffers and one Z buffer ("double buffering"). By increasing to three frame buffers and two Z buffers ("triple buffering") the frame rate of the game can be improved.
Longer Replays Replay data is stored in RAM. Larger RAM will facilitate longer instant replay (Acclaim has already announced this feature in QBC 99).
More Complex Games Lastly, the game code itself can be larger and therefore offer a more diverse game. Puzzles could be more complex or intricate, levels or tracks more unique, different teams more diverse. Additional RAM for program code may allow developers to explore new technologies such as voice recognition, dynamic terrain modeling, etc.
What about games which have already been released?
The Expansion Pak will not offer any benefits to all games. If the game was not specifically written to recognize and take advantage of the Expansion Pak, the Expansion Pak will not offer any benefits.
Availability and Price
When sold seperately, the unit has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $29.95*. The Expansion Pak comes with Donkey Kong 64. It can also be purchased separately at retail stores or in Nintendo's Online store. When sold seperately, the unit has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $29.95*.

*Note: Although Nintendo of America Inc. may suggest retail prices for products, the dealer is free to determine on its own the prices at which it will sell products.
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