64Mate Kickstarter launched!

The 64Mate Kickstarter is now live! The 64Mate is an add-on for the Nintendo 64 that has been making the rounds lately on social media, mostly thanks to Ghillieguide and Shane Battye over at @Official64Mate engaging and being active with the community.

Update 24 May 2020: The 64Mate kickstarter has been cancelled and they will be refocusing on a new push at a later date. Stay up-to-date by following the official 64Mate Twitter account on the link above.

The 64Mate Kickstarter officially launches today (04 May 2020) and will carry on for a month until it concludes on 04 June. You can check it out and make a pledge by checking out the Kickstarter page.

What does the add-on do exactly? Simply put, it’s a stack adapter that you can plug into the bottom of your Nintendo 64 console to use as storage for various things. That’s the short of it, but there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye.

64Mate versions

There are two versions of the 64Mate, one is a standard enclosure (right) and the other is a cart caddy (left).

The 64Mate extends downward from your Nintendo 64, making them shaped somewhat like a ‘prism’ of the base’s cross-section. Both versions can be stacked indefinitely, so you could in theory house a complete collection of N64 games in these.

The cart caddy version of the 64Mate provides a sort of ‘shelf’ where you can store up to eight standard N64 cartridges, visible from their side. It also has a bit of storage space in the back to hold cables or a small upscaler.

The standard version of the 64Mate is a bit simpler. It’s an enclosure with no dividers so you can fit much more such as a capture card, upscaler, cables or even a Raspberry Pi or NES/SNES Mini console if you want. This version replaces the cartridge caddy with a solid front panel with a small window in it that can be used for displaying LED output screens, for example from the Open Source Scan Converter.

It also has holes in the bottom for cable ties, as well as flaps that bend upward for elevating certain components over others.

Note that the top panel that is seen in most of the promotional content will not be included, unless the stretch goal has been reached. It’s not really necessary since the ‘top’ will actually be the bottom of the Nintendo 64.

Also it looks like it’s only going to be available (as far as I know) in charcoal grey and standard size. If you have a N64 in another colour, you’ll have to paint it yourself. And if you have a Pikachu edition Nintendo 64, this probably won’t fit.

About the 64Mate Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign

The goal for the kickstarter campaign is $60,000 AUD (~$44k USD), and if you want to get a 64Mate as a reward, you’ll need to pledge $77 AUD ($49 USD) +Shipping. You’ll be able to choose whether you get the Standard or Caddy version of the 64Mate, but will have to pay twice to get both.

If they surpass the goal, there will be a stretch goal to add in a top panel which covers the top of the enclosure. It has not been specified how much the stretch goal will be though.

A bit of history

The 64Mate team was kind enough to provide a bit of background on how the 64Mate came to be.

The project began in November 2018 when Shane Battye approached Ghillieguide with an idea:

November 28th 2018 I was approached by Shane Battye with a proposition to help out with advertising and marketing an OSSC enclosure for Nintendo 64 as a side project we could work on together. The OSSC enclosure project was initially just intended to allow Shane to display his OSSC near his n64 without taking up a lot of space and looking messy.

Ghillieguide

The idea was that if you want to play the Nintendo 64 on a modern machine in a way that doesn’t look like garbage, you need to buy some add-on devices. They mostly used the OSSC and RetroTINK to make it look better, but these kinds of devices stick out like a sore thumb… You have a dangly bit between your TV and console, plus its own power adapter.

I wrote about it on my guide to connecting your N64 to a TV, and it’s a problem I’ve encountered since I used to use an SCART upsscaler and a USB capture card that just made a mess.

We just needed a name… We were talking on call about a potential name for the project and instinctively I blurted out in a horrible fake aussie accent 64… Mate!

Ghillieguide

After going through some time designing the 3D models, Shane sent Ghillie a full prototype of the project which he then displayed in this video here:

The 64Mate was designed to be as adaptable as possible and to be able to be compatible with as many use cases as they could predict.

For now, the project has been funded out of pocket but they’re looking to launch the 64Mate Kickstarter to get the project out of development and into the hands of the fans that want to buy it.

I’ll pledge some money and try to get my hands on a 64Mate to see what it amounts to, and probably even do a review of it in the future.

Articles across the web

The 64Mate Kickstarter is now live! The 64Mate is an add-on for the Nintendo 64 that has been making the rounds lately on social media, mostly thanks to Ghillieguide and Shane Battye over at @Official64Mate engaging and being active with the community. Update 24 May 2020: The 64Mate kickstarter has been cancelled and they will […]
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