Editor’s take: GoldenEye 007 is a classic first-person shooter and arguably one of the best games released on the Nintendo 64. It was even a finalist for induction into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2020 but shamefully missed out on getting picked. Although it’s been almost 25 years since I played the game, I still miss the fun of playing it with buddies on its four-player, split-screen mode.
As much fun as GoldenEye 007 was to play in local multiplayer mode, the split screen held it back somewhat. At the time, some complained about screen cheating, but since everyone could see all of the screens, it was still a level playing field and eliminated annoying tactics like camping. The main problem was reducing the already small screen you were likely playing on by a factor of four.
In the current age of multiplayer games, this is not a problem as everyone plays via the internet. However, this doesn’t solve GoldenEye’s problem. Even with multiple consoles, there is no way to connect four players without having that split screen — until now.
4 screen GoldenEye on the original N64 hardware! No screencheating here! …but how?
Come and experience this at our GoldenEye evening, celebrating 25 years of GoldenEye for Nintendo 64: https://t.co/F918hEQ20v pic.twitter.com/05jA82upb8
— Computing History (@computermuseum) May 4, 2022
The UK’s Centre for Computing History engineered a way to play GoldenEye 007 on four monitors using a single N64 console. The process involves splitting the video signal and adjusting the image so that each has a corner of the image output. The museum’s displays are relatively small, but you could theoretically use larger monitors.
There’s just one caveat. The museum had to use about $10,000 worth of equipment. It probably already had the gear on hand, but it’s not likely many of us do. So playing GoldenEye on separate screens is still an impossibility for most of us — at least for now.
However, rumors surfaced in January that GoldenEye 007 was coming to Xbox. It was unclear whether it would be a remaster or just a port of the original. The following month, Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb speculated that we could be getting an official announcement that a remaster is coming to the Xbox and the Nintendo Switch.
He reasoned that Microsoft had already tasked Rare, which Microsoft owns, to remaster it for Xbox Live Arcade. Rare finished the game, but it got tied up because of complicated licensing issues — MGM owns the GoldenEye movie license and Nintendo holds the game license. Supposedly, the mess got sorted out, and the game will arrive on both platforms sometime this year, meaning an announcement will be coming soon.
Of course, this is all just conjecture, so take it with your daily dose of sodium. However, if a remaster is in the works rather than a port, we could see proper multiplayer gameplay. Is that a good thing or a bad thing, though?
It could be good or bad, depending on how you view things. On the one hand, screen size would no longer be an issue, especially with a 4K remaster. On the other hand, not being able to see what others are doing means putting up with campers, real cheaters, and ridiculous traps.