iQue Player

The iQue Player was developed by Nintendo and manufactured by iQue as a video game console. The Chinese name for the iQue is Shen You Ji (Devine Gaming Machine). The console is in the shape of a controller that plugs directly into a television. An accessory is available for multiplayer use. It is sold exclusively in China and was released on November 17, 2003.

The game cartridges contained a built in 64 MB flash card that plugged into the console / controller. Upon release of the unit, games could be purchased through an iQue depot and downloaded onto the cartridge. A few demo games that were time-limited and came with the iQue are: The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64. Dr. Mario 64 came preinstalled with the unit.

It was powered by an AC adapter; it had 4 MB of memory, a 62.5 Mhz processor for graphics, a 93.75 Mhz CPU, and a USB port for online connectivity.

When the user turns on the console a main menu list appears listing the games that are on the memory card. The user selects a game and if the user selects Z a description of the highlighted game appears.

There are two online services for the iQue, kiosk and broadband. The iQue depot is part of the kiosk that allows users to download and update games. Games can also be stored on the iQue depot network for free. Gas stations in China are where most of the iQue depots are located, but the user must be a member of the iQue Club with a special ticket to download games.

Fugue is another online service for the iQue where the user can get free access to games, update their system and more. The iQue must be connected through the USB to a computer to access this service. Games are then downloaded onto the computer.

Some accessories for the system are memory cards which must be used in order to start the system and to load the game. A swim box is for multiplayer game play using a swim controller. The swim controller can’t load games and is used specifically for multiple player gaming with the swim box.

There are 14 games in the iQue library, all of them were previously released for the Nintendo 64 and the last one was Dobutsu no Mori released on June 1, 2006. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, was cancelled before its release.

One key difference between the iQue games and the N64 games is the text and voices were converted to Chinese for the iQue versions. The exception lies with the Mario games, where only the text was changed, and not the voice.

Image Caption: Nintendo 64’s official all-in-one iQue Player for the Chinese market. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)