Released in 1996 for $199, the Nintendo 64 (often styled N64) became the third home video game console in the Nintendo line. Named for its 64-bit processor, the N64 represented Nintendo?s first attempt to create a console with high-quality 3D graphics and strong CGI capabilities. Despite this heavy concentration on graphics, Nintendo continued to use traditional ROM cartridges for its games, instead of the optical discs favorite by its main competitors, the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. In addition to being more expensive, these cartridges also contained a much smaller amount of memory in comparison to discs, which severely limited the complexity of the games and led several third-party publishers to transfer their business to Sony and Sega. In 1998, Nintendo attempted to compensate for this lack of memory by designing the Expansion Pak accessory, which included an additional 4MB of RAM and allowed designers to enhance their games. Despite these difficulties, gamers still consider the N64 a successful console, mainly because it included many iconic games such as the groundbreaking 3D Super Mario 64, GoldenEye007, and Doom 64. Gamers and developers alike also praised the system for being the first major home console to incorporate pressure-sensing analog joysticks into its controller design.
In 1999, Nintendo released a peripheral entitled the Nintendo 64DD, or Disk Drive, which connected to the N64 and allowed gamers to play 64MB disks. Although Nintendo announced the 64DD with the original console launch in 1996, a lengthy development process led it to be released only when the system was reaching the end of its life. Though Nintendo planned to develop many games for the add-on, they completed only nine, with several of the others eventually released for the GameCube. The 64DD remained a Japanese exclusive with only 15,000 units sold, as Nintendo discontinued it only a year after its release.