Earlier this morning, a company calling itself Pixel FX—staffed by console modding legends Citrus300psi, Chriz2600, and Woozle64—announced a new digital-to-digital modification for the Nintendo 64. The unsurprisingly named N64Digital follows in the footsteps of similar modifications for the Dreamcast and Playstation, appearing to offer the same rich feature set that has made those mods instant hits with enthusiasts:
- Digital output over HDMI (up to 1080p).
- Analog RGB and YPbPr passed to the multi-out.
- WiFi hardware for firmware updates.
- Support for VI De-Blur.
- HQx smoothing filter.
- Scanline options.
- Lag Free design.
- Compatible with all models of N64 (Pikachu boards require a spacer).
Obviously, the elephant in the room is that the N64 is home to one of the first digital-to-digital HDMI mods that I can remember: the UltraHDMI. Boasting excellent picture quality and many of the same features, the UltraHDMI is a solid N64 mod that got some great reviews at release and has only gotten better with subsequent firmware updates. The problem is that the UltraHDMI simply hasn’t been available to purchase for a while. There is a Group-Buy thread at the shmups forum, but participants in the latest rounds have been waiting for their boards for over a year with no firm shipping date in sight.
(Edit: While the N64Digital also uses a Mini-HDMI port, which does line up at the same spot as the UltraHDMI, the N64Digital uses different flex cables so it isn’t possible to swap an UltraHDMI for an N64Digital without removing the entire installation.)
There is currently no price set for the N64Digital, but the release date is scheduled for April 2021. Stay tuned to RetroRGB for more information as the story develops.