iQue Player

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iQue Player
IQue Player logo.gif
IQue Player.jpg
The iQue Player
Linage
Generation N/A
Predecessor(s) N/A
Successor(s) N/A
Games
No. of games 14
No. of launch titles 5
Best-selling game Dr. Mario 64
Last game Dōbutsu no Mori (2006)
Technical Details
Media Digital downloads
Storage capacity 4 MB RAM
CPU 64Bit R-4300 (93.75 MHz)
Model no.
Compatibility & Connectivity
Can connect with N/A
Input iQue Player, Swim Controller
Backwards compatible with N/A
Services provided Fugue Online
Time
Launch date November 17, 2003
Discontinue date N/A
Units sold N/A

The iQue Player is a Chinese video game console released by Nintendo through its "iQue" subsidiary. The device is properly known as the Shén Yóu Ji (神游机, literally "Divine Gaming Machine"), and is based on the hardware of the Nintendo 64. The iQue Player was released exclusively in mainland China in 2003, designed to circumvent both software piracy in China and the Chinese ban on video game consoles that was in place at the time.

The iQue Player is the only Nintendo home console to be officially released in the Chinese market; although Satoru Iwata announced that the company planned to release the Wii in China in 2008[1], the console was ultimately released only in Hong Kong under the Nintendo brand. However, Nintendo would release its handheld devices from the Game Boy Advance onward in China using the iQue branding (i.e. the Nintendo DS was released as the "iQue DS").

Contents

Features

The iQue Player is a "plug and play"-style console, using a "system on a chip" architecture based on the Nintendo 64 built into the controller. The device features all the same buttons as the Nintendo 64 Controller, though with an entirely different form factor. The layout of the controller is also different from a Nintendo 64, such as the analog stick being moved above the D-pad (which also has a different design than other Nintendo D-pads), the Z button being placed above the L button similar to a Nintendo GameCube Controller, and the addition of a power button above the start button. On the back of the device are two external ports: one which connects to a USB cable to plug into a computer, and another which plugs into the included AV cable. The AV Cable also features a forth cable which connects to the AC adapter. Finally, on the bottom is the port for the Memory Card.

When the system is turned on, the player is taken to a menu where they can either set the system settings, such as the username or current date and time, or go directly to the menu to select and play one of the games installed on the Memory Card.

Games

The iQue Player plays digitally downloaded versions of Nintendo 64 titles stored on the Memory Card, rather than using changeable cartridges. Games can be downloaded either by taking the Memory Card to an iQue Depot kiosk at select stores, or by connecting the iQue Player to a computer via USB and downloading games from the official website using the "iQue@home" service, powered by "Fugue Online". Most of the games released for the system are newer versions of the games which feature bug fixes and gameplay improvements from the original Nintendo 64 releases, though these releases also removed support for Nintendo 64 controller accessories such as the Rumble Pak or Controller Pak due to the system itself lacking support for these devices.

Five games were released at launch for the iQue Player. All iQue Players feature Dr. Mario 64 pre-installed on the Memory Card, alongside demos of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Wave Race 64, and Super Mario 64. Once the time on these demos expires, they cannot be played again. However, the player could download trial versions of all games released for the system.[2]

In total, 14 titles were released for the system between 2003 and 2006:

As of December 31, 2016, the Fugue Online service has been discontinued, meaning that games will no longer be able to be purchased for the system.[3]

Controllers and accessories

Memory Card

The iQue Player Memory Card is a 64 MB flash memory card used to store games downloaded for the system. The Memory Card inserts into the bottom of the player. The Memory Card is only compatible with the iQue Player unit it was packaged with.[4]

Swim Box

NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Swim Box 

The Swim Box is a multitap device allowing for local multiplayer in compatible iQue Player titles. The device uses an included cable to connect to the iQue Player, and has an output on the back for the AV cable. The Swim Box has inputs for a singular iQue Player and up to three additional Swim Controllers.

Swim Controller

NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Swim Controller 

The Swim Controller is a secondary controller for the iQue Player. The controller can only be used by an additional player in conjunction with a Swim Box to play with others locally.

Trivia

  • When revealed at the Tokyo Game Show 2003, it was announced that the iQue Player would also be able to play Super Nintendo Entertainment System games, though no such titles were ever released for the device.[4][2] It was also announced that ten titles would be released for the system at launch, when only five were available.[4]
  • Screenshots of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask are among those on the back of the box for the system even though the game was never officially released as an iQue Player title, suggesting that at one point it was planned.

External links

References

  1. Wii comes to China, South Korea in 2008. Engadget (October 26, 2007). Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 iQue Fun Facts. IGN. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  3. iQue official website (October 31, 2016). Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Nintendo iQue Announced for China. Nintendo World Report (September 26, 2003). Retrieved November 1, 2016.


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