The Expansion Pak is a Nintendo 64 accessory released in 1998 that gives the console extra RAM capabilities. The expansion was initially planned to be released alongside the Nintendo 64DD, but was launched earlier after the 64DD was delayed.
While released individually, the Expansion Pak was later released as part of the Nintendo 64DD package for its launch in 1999. The Expansion Pak was also bundled with select compatible games, such as Donkey Kong 64, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Perfect Dark.
The Expansion Pak plugs into the Nintendo 64 in the console's Memory Expansion slot on the top, in place of the Jumper Pak that comes with launch consoles. The expansion has 4 MB of additional RDRAM, which increases the console's available RAM from 4 MB to 8 MB. While some games make use of the greater memory to include sharper visuals, others use it to increase the native resolution from 320x240 to 640x480 (480i; 576i for PAL consoles).
Most games do not require the Expansion Pak, though there are a few titles that do. All Nintendo 64DD software, however, requires the Expansion Pak in order to run.
Compatible games published by Nintendo
|Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
|Star Wars Episode 1: Racer
|Allows for "hi-res mode" (increased resolution, higher-quality textures), and increases framerate in lo-res mode.
|Resident Evil 2
|Increases resolution and texture quality.
|Donkey Kong 64
|Required to run the game; used for enhanced graphics, fixes a game-breaking bug that causes the game to crash normally due to memory overload.
|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
|Required to run the game; used for higher-quality textures, improved draw distance, and allows for more models and effects on-screen.
|Required for single-player, co-op multiplayer, counter-operative missions, and most multiplayer features; increases resolution.
|Increases graphical quality.
|Pokémon Stadium 2