In a world where gaming nostalgia is booming, the Nintendo 64 reigns supreme as the heart of countless treasured memories. This iconic console, with its vast library of cult classic games, continues to command a devoted audience on platforms like Twitch and other live-streaming services. In an era of escalating prices for N64 games and necessary modifications for upscalers like the OSSC, the common trend might be to emulate these beloved classics. But for those of us who swear by the purity and authenticity of original hardware, there’s nothing quite like experiencing these games on an actual N64 console.
As you probably know, retro gaming is kind of our thing at Streamer Tactics.
Just recently, I took the leap of nostalgia, introducing an RGB-modded N64 to my own collection. But it wasn’t just about re-living the past. The gem that came along with it, the EverDrive 64 X7 by Krikzz, is an absolute game-changer – literally and figuratively. This potent combination not only allowed me to enjoy the classic games in their original glory, but also opened up avenues to capture these epic moments and share them with the world, just as the creators at Nintendo envisioned.
My set up to play and review the EverDrive 64 X7 is as follows:
- Console: Nintendo 64: NUS-001 (EUR) with Tim Worthington RGB Mod
- AV Cable: Retrogamingcables.co.uk SCART
- Upscaler: OSSC 1.6
- Capture Card: Elgato HD60S+
- Gaming Monitor: ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD-2
- Streaming Computer: MacBook Pro Apple Silicon M1
Now, the internet is inundated with reviews, comparisons, and how-to guides for the ED64, but that’s not why we’re here today. This review is going to spotlight something different, something that the streaming community would truly appreciate. I’ll be unpacking why the EverDrive 64 X7 is the ultimate game cartridge for those currently streaming N64 content or those intending to do so. We’ll explore how this magical little piece of technology can simplify your streaming life, make it more enjoyable, and ultimately provide your viewers with a richer, more varied content experience. So, stay tuned and let’s jump into this uncharted territory together.
Background of Krikkz and the ED64 X7.
Krikzz, also known as Igor Golubovskiy, is a well-known figure in the retro gaming community and is especially recognized for his contribution to the creation of the EverDrive series of flash cartridges. These cartridges, designed for various classic game consoles, allow users to play ROMs from an SD card on original hardware.
Golubovskiy is based in Ukraine, where he designs and manufactures his products. His EverDrive line has gained considerable popularity due to the quality of its build, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of systems, including but not limited to NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy.
Absolutely, let’s dive right into the advancements that the EverDrive 64 X7 brings to the table.
Flash back to 2009, the landscape of gaming was evolving rapidly and the emulation of classic games was indeed the wild west of the gaming world. Igor “Krikzz” Golubovskiy saw the need for a more tangible, more reliable solution and thus, the EverDrive 64 was born. This game-changing device, a flashcart, redefined how we play N64 games. Now, instead of hunting for increasingly scarce and costly original cartridges or wrestling with finicky emulators, gamers could load their game ROMs onto an SD or Micro SD card and play them right on their original N64 console.
As we fast forward to today, emulation has indeed evolved, but the EverDrive 64 has also made significant strides. The series now includes the X5 and X7 models, each a substantial improvement over their predecessors.
The X7 model, the subject of our discussion today, introduces a host of features that markedly enhance the user experience. Unlike the X5, the X7 boasts a built-in real-time clock, critical for playing games like Dōbutsu no Mori (Animal Forest). It also introduces an auto-save feature, freeing you from the need to manually reset your system to secure your game progress, a requirement in the X5 model.
Moreover, the X7 model comes with a USB port, a feature especially useful for developers of homebrew N64 games. It uses Micro SD cards, a more compact and discreet alternative to the standard SD cards employed by its predecessors, the V2.5 and V3 models.
The X7 model also has automatic region detection, enabling you to instantly play games from any region on any console. This is a significant leap from earlier models, where you would need to manually adjust a switch on the cartridge’s internal circuit board to change the supported region.
In essence, the EverDrive 64 X7 has evolved hand-in-hand with the world of emulation, offering gamers a reliable, feature-rich alternative to experiencing their beloved N64 games on original hardware. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, so too does the EverDrive 64, continually refining and expanding the way we play and enjoy these classic games.
Why I recommend the EverDrive 64 X7 for streamers
- Authenticity and Original Hardware: One of the top reasons I recommend the EverDrive 64 X7 for streamers is its authenticity. When you’re using the EverDrive 64 X7, you’re playing games as they were intended, on original hardware. This isn’t emulation; it’s as close to the real thing as you can get without dusting off the original cartridge. Viewers appreciate this authenticity and playing on original hardware can be a niche in itself. It demonstrates your commitment to preserving the past and adds a special layer of legitimacy to your stream.
- Access to the Entire N64 Library: With the ED64 X7, you have access to every N64 game ever created. It offers 100% compatibility, meaning no matter what game you or your viewers want, it’s at your fingertips. This vast selection allows you to keep your stream diverse and exciting, potentially attracting a wider audience.
- Saves Money: N64 games are hard to come by these days and some titles can fetch a hefty price tag, with games like Resident Evil 2 often exceeding £200. Investing in the EverDrive X7 allows you to bypass this barrier and keeps your stream filled with fresh content without breaking the bank.
- Preservation and Backing up your Collection: The X7 not only allows you to play your favorite games but also serves as a tool for preserving them. It’s a smart, digital way to back up your personal collection of N64 games. It allows you to keep your original copies safe while playing the same version you know and love.
- Ease of Setup: The X7 is user-friendly and easy to set up, regardless of your operating system, be it Mac or Windows. This hassle-free experience allows you to focus more on your stream and less on technical issues.
- Faster Loading Times: With the X7, you’ll experience faster loading times. While the difference may vary between games, this feature ensures your stream runs smoothly and keeps your viewers engaged.
- Support for Home-Brew Games and GameShark Cheat Codes: Your stream can become even more unique with the access to home-brew games and GameShark cheat codes. This way, you can showcase content that’s out of the ordinary and keep your viewers coming back for more.
- Plays 64DD Games: The EverDrive 64 X7 allows you to play 64DD games without needing the actual 64DD unit. This expands your playable library and gives your viewers a chance to see games they may not typically encounter.
- Play Games from any Region: With automatic region detection, you can play any game from any region on any console. You’re not restricted by geographical boundaries, ensuring a truly global gaming experience for your viewers.
- Anti-Aliasing Disabling and 60hz Versions: The EverDrive X7 also allows you to disable the N64’s notorious anti-aliasing blur and ensures that you can play only 60hz versions of games, regardless of your location. This provides a clearer, more defined visual experience for your viewers.
- Perfect for Modern TVs and Streaming: Last but not least, the X7 works perfectly fine with modern TVs, and the N64 isn’t difficult to stream. This compatibility and ease of use make your streaming setup simple and effective.
All these features make the EverDrive X7 an excellent investment for streamers. Not only are you preserving gaming history, but you’re also providing a unique, authentic experience for your viewers. Remember, it’s not just about playing the games; it’s about sharing that experience and the nostalgia that comes with it.
In conclusion, the EverDrive 64 X7 is an invaluable asset for any streamer looking to delve into the world of retro gaming. Its authenticity, full compatibility, preservation qualities, and easy setup provide an unparalleled experience, both for you and your viewers. From its ability to access every N64 game ever created, to its compatibility with modern TVs, it ensures that the essence of N64 gaming is preserved and shared in its purest form.
By choosing the EverDrive 64 X7, you’re not just selecting a tool to help you stream; you’re becoming part of a community dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of video gaming. You’re also sending a message to your viewers that you value authenticity, historical preservation, and the nostalgia that these games inspire.
For streamers looking to differentiate themselves and engage their audience with an authentic retro gaming experience, there’s simply no better choice than the EverDrive 64 X7. It’s more than a device; it’s a passport to a rich and vibrant world of classic gaming.
Let the games of the past light up your streams of today, with the EverDrive 64 X7, your key to a treasure trove of timeless gaming classics. So, power on your N64, plug in your EverDrive, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the golden era of gaming. Happy streaming!