IQue Player

Last updated

iQue Player
Ique logo.svg
Nintendo-N64-iQue-Player-FL.jpg
iQue Player controller
Developer Nintendo
Manufacturer iQue
Type Home video game console
Generation Fifth generation
Release date
  • CHN: November 17, 2003
Lifespan2003–2018
Introductory price ¥498
Media Flash card, cartridge
CPU R-4300i 64Bit CPU @ 140.625 MHz
Memory16 MB (8 MB available)
Graphics62.5 MHz Reality Co-Processor
SoundADPCM 64
ConnectivityUSB (iQue@Home)
PowerAC Adapter
Online servicesiQue Depot, iQue@Home [1]
Best-selling game Dr. Mario 64 (pre-installed in bundled memory card)
Related articles Nintendo 64
Website iQue (in Chinese)

The iQue Player ( /ˌˈkj/ , stylised as iQue PLAYER [2] ) is a home video game console that was manufactured by iQue, a joint venture between Nintendo and Chinese-American scientist Wei Yen after China had made claims of banning video games. The system's Chinese name was Shén Yóu Ji (神游机), literally "Divine Gaming Machine". Shényóu (神游) serves a double entendre because the term also means "to make a mental journey". Although the console was never released in any English-speaking countries, the name "iQue Player" appears in the console's instruction manual. The console itself takes the form of the controller and plugs directly into the television. A box accessory is available that allows multiplayer gaming. [3] It was only marketed in mainland China, as the console's unusual game distribution method is an attempt to curb game piracy in that region.

Contents

Games for the iQue Player are stored on a 64 MB flash card which is contained within a cartridge that plugs directly into the controller/console. Games were purchased at a special "iQue depot", where games could be downloaded onto the cartridge and played later, in a similar manner to the Famicom Disk System, Satellaview, Nintendo 64DD and Nintendo DS Download Play. Games could also be downloaded by connecting the iQue to a PC. Time-limited demos that come with the iQue include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time , Super Mario 64 , and Star Fox 64 . Full versions of the three titles are available, as are other first party Nintendo titles such as Dr. Mario 64 , Mario Kart 64 , Wave Race 64 , and F-Zero X .

Technical details

The iQue Player is based on the Nintendo 64, but uses system-on-a-chip technology to reduce size. It plays Nintendo 64 games specifically ported to the system.

Once the player has turned on the system, the iQue logo will appear. Then, an image of a character from a game will appear alongside some options, selectable using the stick, such as “游戏" (games), "管理" (management), and in some cases "俱乐部" (club, referencing iQue Club), and it will say to press the A button to continue. Once the player has entered the games menu, the system lists the games and demos that the player owns and some info on each, such as size, name and status.

iQue Player healthy gaming advice screen Healthy gaming advice iQue Player.png
iQue Player healthy gaming advice screen
Example info screen, showing ISBN Dr. Mario info screen.png
Example info screen, showing ISBN

Once the player has selected a game with the stick, they can press the A button to start it. A warning will appear, the "healthy gaming advice" screen required to be shown by Chinese law, followed by a screen with some more information about the game, such as its ISBN (if it has one). The first time a game is played after having been transferred to the console, a loading bar will also appear as the console 'recrypts' (i.e. applies a second layer of encryption using a randomly-generated key) the game.

If the player instead presses the Z button on the highlighted game, a menu will appear allowing the player to allocate memory pak files for the game, if this feature is required.

iQue Player settings menu IQue Player settings menu.png
iQue Player settings menu

The console allows parents to set a limit on the usage of the console, similar to parental controls in modern consoles, in the management menu. The first item in the menu, "设置密码" (set password), can be used to enable a 4-digit code that must be entered correctly to access the menu. The second item, "设置时钟" (set time), is used to set the console's RTC (this option only has an effect if the console's internal battery is not depleted). The third item, "设置游戏时间" (set gaming time), allows a parent to set a limit on the amount of time that can be spent playing games, selectable from values starting at 00:00 and increasing in 30-minute increments until 08:00, with one more option for 24:00 (essentially removing the limit). The final item, "密码过期时间" (password expiration date), allows a date to be set for the password and other settings to expire, allowing the console to be used normally.

On older firmware versions, the player can also start the iQue Club application from the main menu, which allows them to set a username, phone number, date of birth, gender and address.

Online services

The iQue Player has online services for buying games, cloud storage, game updates, etc. Currently, there is only one online service for the iQue Player, which is broadband based. In the past, some gas stations had a kiosk based service for accessing games.

iQue Depot

The iQue depot is a network of kiosks that allows users to download games, update games, and more. Each game comes with a game code that can be used so the user can download the game. Players can also store their games on the iQue Depot network for free. Users must be a member of the iQue Club and have a special iQue Ticket to download games.

iQue@Home

iQue@Home (神游在线, iQue Online) was an online service that allowed users to get free access to trial software, update their system, purchase games and more, at home. To connect to the iQue@Home service, players connected the iQue Player to their computer via USB. Games were downloaded onto the computer, in a similar manner to an MP3 player. The user needed an "iQue Ticket", which was similar to a gift card and was used to purchase games. iQue@Home was only compatible with iQue Players that had been upgraded to one of the two most recent firmware versions. The drivers for the iQue Player only support 32-bit versions of Windows, and cannot run on 64-bit or non-Windows operating systems. [1]

Accessories

iQue Card

The iQue Card (神游卡) is bundled with the system. It is required to start the system and to load the games. The games, the console's operating system and the game saves, as well as various other system files, are stored on the iQue Card.

Multiplayer Box

The iQue Player Multiplayer Box (共游盒) is a multitap, and is required to play local multiplayer. The Multiplayer Box has four ports; one for the main iQue Player system, and three for Multiplayer Controllers. Due to this design, only one iQue Player system can be used, and the other players must use Multiplayer Controllers. When using the Multiplayer Box, the iQue Player system is Player 1.

Multiplayer Controller

The Multiplayer Controller (共游机) is used for local multiplayer. The Multiplayer Controller connects to the Multiplayer Box, and can't load games alone. Games have to be loaded on the iQue Player system.

History

Development

China has a large black market for video games and usually only a few games officially make it to the Chinese market. Many Chinese gamers tend to purchase pirated cartridge or disc copies or download ROMs and ISOs to play via emulator. Nintendo wanted to curb the software piracy in China, and bypass the ban that the Chinese government has implemented on home game consoles since 2000. Nintendo partnered with Wei Yen, who helped Nintendo in other projects, and together they created a game system to get around China's black market, as well as loophole through the government's ban. [ citation needed ] Originally, the system would support games released on Nintendo consoles prior to the GameCube, which include the NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64, but later in the system's development, it was decided only to include Nintendo 64 games. Additionally, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was going to be included in the software library but it was later cancelled; however, the game's promotional picture is still on the back of the box. [4]

Release

The iQue Player was released on November 17, 2003 with a few launch titles. Nintendo's strategy to market games in China was to show how video games can help improve children's mental and social development. However, the launch was not successful. The total estimated sales was between 8,000 and 12,000 units. [5] At first, the only way to get games was to buy them via the iQue Depot, but in 2009, Nintendo released iQue@Home to download games at home. The last game for the console, Animal Crossing (动物森林, Animal Forest) was released in 2006.

Discontinuation

On October 31, 2016, iQue reported that iQue@Home service would be discontinued by the end of December 2016. [6] The service was gradually phased out until the content distribution servers went offline in 2018.

Games

The iQue Player's library has 14 games. All these games were released for the Nintendo 64 in Europe, North America and Japan prior to the iQue Player. One game - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - was cancelled [7] and another - a Traditional Chinese version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - was completed but never announced. [8]

Original title Simplified Chinese title Pinyin Release dateGame code
Wave Race 64 [games note 1] 水上摩托Shuǐ Shàng MótuōNovember 17, 200351011 [9]
Star Fox 64 [games note 1] 星际火狐Xīngjì HuǒhúNovember 17, 200341011 [10]
Dr. Mario 64 [games note 2] 马力欧医生Mǎlìōu YīshēngNovember 17, 200361011 [11]
Super Mario 64 [games note 1] 神游马力欧Shén Yóu MǎlìōuNovember 17, 200311011 [12] [13]
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [games note 1] 塞尔达传说 时光之笛Sàiěrdá Chuánshuō: Shíguāng zhī DíNovember 17, 200321011 [14]
Mario Kart 64 马力欧卡丁车Mǎlìōu KǎdīngchēDecember 25, 200352011 [15]
F-Zero X F-Zero X 未来赛车F-Zero X Wèilái SàichēFebruary 25, 200452021 [16]
Yoshi's Story 耀西故事Yàoxī GùshìMarch 25, 200411021 [17]
Paper Mario 纸片马力欧Zhǐpiàn MǎlìōuJune 8, 200421021 [18]
Sin and Punishment 罪与罚-地球的继承者-Zuì yǔ Fá: Dìqiú de Jìchéng ZhěSeptember 25, 200441021 [19]
Excitebike 64 越野摩托Yuèyě MótuōJune 15, 2005 [20] 51021 [21]
Super Smash Bros. 任天堂明星大乱斗Rèntiāntáng Míngxīng Dà Luàn DǒuNovember 15, 200512021 [22]
Custom Robo 组合机器人Zǔhé JīqìrénMay 1, 200621051 [23]
Animal Crossing 动物森林Dòngwù SēnlínJune 1, 2006 [24] 21041 [25]
  1. 1 2 3 4 A demo was included with the system.
  2. The full version of the game was included with the memory card bundled with the system.

Differences

iQue Player games differ slightly from their Nintendo 64 counterparts, with the text and voices having been translated to Chinese. The only exceptions are the Mario games and the previously Japan-only title Sin and Punishment , where the text has been translated while the voices remain in English. Additionally, many glitches and errors from the original games have been fixed. Some features were removed due to the system's lack of support for Nintendo 64 controller accessories like the Rumble Pak. Due to this, many games that originally supported the rumble feature no longer support it. Some features were added. Many games that allow the player to enter their name now have the option to use their iQue Player's username, which can be set at the iQue Player's main menu.[ citation needed ] Speedruns of several games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 , are sometimes carried out on the iQue Player due to quicker loading times and faster scrolling text than the Nintendo 64 versions. [26] Nintendo had plans to support network multiplayer in games that originally only supported local multiplayer, which would work in a similar manner to that of an emulator. [27]

See also

Related Research Articles

Nintendo 64 Home video game console produced by Nintendo

The Nintendo 64 (officially abbreviated as N64, hardware model number pre-term: NUS, stylized as NINTENDO64) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, and March 1997 in Europe and Australia. It was the last major home console to use the ROM cartridge as its primary storage format until the Switch in 2017. The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in 2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001.

<i>The Legend of Zelda</i> Video game series

The Legend of Zelda is a high fantasy action-adventure video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The gameplay incorporates action-adventure and elements of action RPG games.

Shigeru Miyamoto Japanese video game designer

Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer, producer and game director at Nintendo, where he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises of all time, including Mario and The Legend of Zelda.

<i>Super Mario 64</i> 1996 video game

Super Mario 64 is a 1996 platform game for the Nintendo 64 and the first in the Super Mario series to feature 3D gameplay. As Mario, the player explores Princess Peach's castle and must rescue her from Bowser. Super Mario 64 features open-world playability, degrees of freedom through all three axes in space, and relatively large areas which are composed primarily of true 3D polygons as opposed to only two-dimensional (2D) sprites. It emphasizes exploration within vast worlds, which require the player to complete various missions in addition to the occasional linear obstacle courses. It preserves many gameplay elements and characters of earlier Mario games as well as the visual style.

<i>The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time</i> 1998 Nintendo 64 game

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan and North America in November 1998, and in PAL regions the following month. Ocarina of Time is the fifth game in The Legend of Zelda series, and the first with 3D graphics.

<i>The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask</i> 2000 video game

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in 2000 as the sixth main installment in The Legend of Zelda series and was the second to use 3D graphics, following 1998's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, to which it is a direct sequel. Designed by a creative team led by Eiji Aonuma, Yoshiaki Koizumi, and Shigeru Miyamoto, Majora's Mask was completed in less than two years. It featured enhanced graphics and several gameplay changes from its predecessor, though it reused a number of elements and character models, which the game's creators called a creative decision made necessary by time constraints.

<i>Zelda II: The Adventure of Link</i> 1987 video game

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game with platforming elements. This second installment in The Legend of Zelda series was developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System on January 14, 1987. This is less than one year after the Japanese release, and seven months before the North American release, of the original The Legend of Zelda. Zelda II was released in North America and the PAL region for the Nintendo Entertainment System in late 1988, almost two years after its initial release in Japan.

Super Game Boy add-on for the SNES video game console

The Super Game Boy is a peripheral that allows Game Boy cartridges to be played on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. Released in June 1994, it retailed for $59.99 in the United States and £49.99 in the United Kingdom.

Nintendo DS Nintendo handheld game console

The Nintendo DS, or simply DS, is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device released globally across 2004 and 2005. The DS, an initialism for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: two LCD screens working in tandem, a built-in microphone and support for wireless connectivity. Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Its main competitor was Sony's PlayStation Portable during the seventh generation of video game consoles.

<i>The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures</i> 2004 video game

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures is the eleventh installment in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. It was released for the GameCube home video game console in Japan on March 18, 2004; in North America on June 7, 2004; in Europe on January 7, 2005; and in Australia on April 7, 2005. The Game Boy Advance handheld game console can be used as a controller when using the GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable bundled with the game in North America and Europe. The game is compatible with the Nintendo Wii including the use of the Game Boy Advance link cables.

iQue Chinese joint venture between Wei Yen and Nintendo

iQue, Ltd. is a translation/localization and support development company located in Suzhou. It was founded as a joint venture between Wei Yen and Nintendo in 2002 as a Chinese video game console manufacturing company. The following year, the company released the iQue Player. The company had manufactured and distributed official Nintendo products for the mainland Chinese market under the iQue brand until 2018.

Virtual Console, also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home video game consoles and the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console.

Nintendo 64 controller Primary game controller for the Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 controller is the standard game controller for the Nintendo 64 home video game console. Manufactured and released by Nintendo on June 23, 1996 in Japan, in late 1996 in North America, and 1997 in Europe. It is the successor to the Super Nintendo controller and is designed in an "M" shape and features 11 buttons, one analog "Control Stick" and a directional pad.

<i>The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past</i> and <i>Four Swords</i> 2002 video game compilation

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords is an action-adventure game co-developed by Nintendo and Capcom and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance.

Wii Shop Channel digital application distribution platform for the Nintendo Wii

The Wii Shop Channel was an online shop for the Wii video game console that allowed users to download Virtual Console games, WiiWare games, and additional channels. The channel launched on November 19, 2006, and ceased operations on January 30, 2019. Available software was organized into three sections: Virtual Console, WiiWare, and Wii Channels. It is now impossible to purchase content on the channel, but all previously purchased content can still be re-downloaded indefinitely as of February 1, 2019. Upon its discontinuation, most software was removed from the channel, and the shop's interface reverted to its original 2006 design and layout.

Wii system software Operating system for Nintendos Wii home video game console

The Wii system software is a discontinued set of updatable firmware versions and a software frontend on the Wii home video game console. Updates, which can be downloaded over the Internet or read from a game disc, allowed Nintendo to add additional features and software, as well as to patch security vulnerabilities used by users to load homebrew software. When a new update became available, Nintendo sent a message to the Wii Message Board of Internet-connected systems notifying them of the available update.

Nintendo video game consoles Wikimedia list article

The Japanese multinational consumer electronics company Nintendo has developed seven home video game consoles and multiple portable consoles for use with external media, as well as dedicated consoles and other hardware for their consoles. As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has sold over 722.22 million hardware units.

This is a list of accessories for the Nintendo 64 video game console.

<i>The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D</i> 2011 remaster of Nintendo 64 game

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is an action-adventure game developed by Grezzo and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console. The game was released in June 2011. A remaster of the original 1998 Nintendo 64 game, it features mirrored versions of the rearranged dungeons from Ocarina of Time Master Quest, as well as updated graphics and added stereoscopic effects.

References

  1. 1 2 iQue Ltd.
  2. "iQue Ltd". www.ique.com. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  3. iQue Ltd Archived 2007-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGT7lRptA3c
  5. "《记录》第17期:神游中国(上) - 触乐". www.chuapp.com. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  6. 神游机服务终止通知 [Notice of Discontinuation]. iQue (in Chinese). 2016-10-31. Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2016-11-01. The company has decided to formally terminate the service in the end of December 2016 and hereby informing that iQue Depot stations providing the service will be terminated.
  7. Lim, Gabriel (October 16, 2018). "Chinas iQue Player Was Originally Supposed To Get Zelda: Majoras Mask". NintendoSoup. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  8. "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Traditional Chinese) - iQueBrew". www.iquebrew.org. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  9. iQue Ltd
  10. iQue Ltd
  11. iQue Ltd
  12. Given as 11011 in the URL of the game page, 11011 is used in the game's filename, but 10011 is displayed on the game page.
  13. iQue Ltd
  14. iQue Ltd
  15. iQue Ltd
  16. iQue Ltd
  17. iQue Ltd
  18. iQue Ltd
  19. iQue Ltd
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2006-02-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. iQue Ltd
  22. iQue Ltd
  23. iQue Ltd
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. iQue Ltd
  26. Gates, Christopher (2015-05-09). "Gamer Sets New World Record for 'Ocarina of Time' Speedrun". Gamerant.
  27. IGN, IGN (2014-08-01). "IQue Fun Facts". IGN .[ unreliable source? ]