Alex Mitchell

Future N64Digital Kits Drop Analog RGB/ YPbPr Out

PixelFX has just announced that their latest batch of N64Digital kits are en route from the assembly line and will be put up for sale soon through the regular channels. We’ve discussed the N64Digital quite a bit at this point, so if you’re new to the mod I wholeheartedly recommend watching My Life in Gaming‘s excellent review and RetroRGB’s N64Digital Deep Dive video. A few things have changed since then, but the broad strokes are pretty much the same:

For folks looking to get the best looking simultaneous analog and digital output from their N64 setup, this batch of N64Digital kits is an especially important one. The digital to analog converter (DAC) that PixelFX has been using until now has been discontinued by the manufacturer and PixelFX has opted to remove analog RGB and Component video from future revisions of the mod. To reiterate, this coming batch of N64Digital kits are the last models that will support analog RGB and Component video. This raises a few questions, which PixelFX answered on Twitter and I’ll do my best to outline here:

  • Although it is difficult to say that this will work with every combination under the sun, PixelFX did confirm that installing a separate RGB output mod along side the N64Digital should not be a problem. However, again, it is worth remembering that there are a few N64 RGB mods out there and some of them are more complex/power hungry than others. I imagine a simple kit like Voultar’s N64 RGB mod won’t be a problem, but the N64 RGB Advanced mod with an FPGA and a flex cable might not coexist as well. Only time and testing will tell!
  • Future N64Digital kits without analog video support will see a price decrease. This is a separate discussion than the already announced HDMI roadmap that Bob wrote about a few weeks back. No word on how much of a decrease it’ll wind up being though.
  • Just like the current kits, the stock Composite and S-Video output is unaffected. You can still use the analog multi-out and the HDMI output at the same time.
While it is possible to spot differences between these four options, the gap between the S-Video and the RGB options isn’t as vast as it is on other platforms. (Credit: My Life in Gaming)

While this is certainly a bummer for folks with RGB/YPbPr-based setups who aren’t able to secure a kit by the time this batch runs out, it’s worth consoling yourself with the fact that the stock analog output from the N64 is still extremely serviceable. It is nice to have both de-blur and RGB/YPbPr as options, but at the same time it doesn’t represent that much of a step up from a good set of S-Video cables. Still, if RGB/YPbPr output from the N64 is something that is important to you then keep an eye on PixelFX’s twitter feed for the latest news on kit availability.