NX Console to use Cartridges, not CDs

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

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nintendo cartridge

Nintendo revealed the plan to go with cartridges over CDs.

It was once a popular method in the past of running and containing video games all the way back in the Atari days, and still used for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita games. This changed to CDs we use now for many reasons, such as storage space and low costs. However, this too has changed, with companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Corp., as they have developed memory cards capable of packing a lot of data in small products.

Industry watchers have stated how reasonable the choice was, given Nintendo’s wider reach over consumers when compared to Sony or Microsoft. This includes children, who would likely scratch discs and damage them. In addition, cartridges would allow games to load faster, harder to make copies, and even faster to produce. And given the portability of the NX, a disc would be more likely to get damaged inside of a console; speaking from experience for that.

Thus far, there are no updates as to what the cartridges would look like, or if the system would take 3DS games too.


About Jonathan Falu

I am currently a college student at Temple University as a MSP major in Emergent Media, and wish to one day be a paid video game critic. I currently do video reviews on the channel The Smartest Moron on Youtube over here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSmartestMoronReviews

  • It is official then? Been hearing rumors about it for a while now.

    It’s funny lots of people think of small disk space when they hear cartridges but cmon, there are micro SDs of 64GB that’s more than most PS4 games

    • blackice85

      The only thing I wondered about was cost, the technology has been there for a while now. Bluray discs are far cheaper per GB, but costs must have dropped enough that using flash media will be viable for larger games. It will be interesting going back to it for home consoles.

    • azariosays

      no it’s not, this is an analysis of an analysis from the Wall Street Journal. The writer at WSJ is just giving his input on the rumor of an anonymous source.

    • Oh I see, thanks for confirming (or unconfirming) it 😛

    • blackice85

      I think it’s pretty likely though (assuming the hybrid rumors are true), since it sounds like it will be an HD portable console that can ‘dock’ while at home, connecting to a regular TV.

      Unless everything we’ve heard is way off base, I wouldn’t be surprised by it.

    • Jefferson Boldrin Cardozo

      Well, Nintendo did register Zelda Breath of the Wild as being distributed in discs and cartridges. Wii U uses discs, and the other platform BotW being released for is the NX, so it’s a very likely rumor

    • Kelechuckuw K.c.W

      Well it’s probly a good idea to put the reminder that Nintendo has yet to make an a offical statement as far as the Nx is involved cause it seems certain readers get too caught in these rumor’s when it’s not stated in a article jump the gun to early and too often. I’ve notice ther other gaming out lets like EPN.TV and Gematsu do this to make people aware that no offical person from Nintendo has spoken. and source that name is hidden can be anything and may not be completely accurate.

    • Kelechuckuw K.c.W

      Nintendo hasn’t said anything official yet. so I’m waiting til they do . the original reason was stated when iwata was alive and it was to deal with gaming drout’s shortages. In the early stages of launch or incase of another fall out of certain third partys . they can fall back on the 3d’s to keep players busy til they fix things with those other studio’s

  • Panpopo

    Cartridges are great – they last a long time and pretty cheap. Now they just have to announce this as region-free…

    • Wenzel Neudert

      lmao region free not gonna happen for sure!

    • Jonah Rosen

      Yeah, I’m gonna have to agree with Wenzel there, Nintendo is pretty fucking retarded when it comes to making things region-free, as in it’s never going to happen. But hey, I’m more than happy to put my foot in my mouth if they do actually do it.

    • Panpopo

      Hey it is nice to dream! The DS was region-free for instance!

    • AllahTheGreat

      Don’t forget GBA..That device was also region free.
      I have plenty of JP GBA games that can run on the original GBA and GBA SP.

    • AllahTheGreat

      Forget to mention that region-lock on Nintendo handheld started since the release of the DSi to the current handheld.

    • blackice85

      Yeah I have a Super Famicom cart for my SNES, the ‘region lock’ is a simple tab you can break off, then it’ll work fine. PAL is another story though, since they’re made to run at 50Hz.

    • >[…] they last a long time […]

      Depends on how much they’re used. The cells die after a large amount of use. (E.g. USB Flash Drives)

    • Jefferson Boldrin Cardozo

      Well, I haven’t heard of NES and Game Boy cartridges dying or loosing data, even if they are so old, only their save batteries need changing by now.

      And by computer standards, NES and Game Boys are ancient technology, it’s hard to think they can’t make cartridges as durable as that today.

    • Jefferson Boldrin Cardozo

      Not to mention USB Flash Drivers tend to lose usable space after a large number of rewrites, cartridges have fixed data, it’s far easier to make ir more durable

    • Mr0303

      If they want to be competitive region free is a must.

    • Didney Worl

      If this rumor is to be believed, the NX will be region free.

      SOURCE: http://letsplayvideogames.com/2016/08/report-nx-handheld-dimensions-layout-info-lack-of-region-lock/

  • Mr0303

    Catriges are nice and all, but the issue they have is capacity vs cost. They must be bigger than 32GB, or Nintendo may have some third party issues again.

    • blackice85

      Exactly. If they can do 64gb reasonably, then they’d be set for the foreseeable future as far as capacity goes. And of course, not every game would exceed 32gb either, but if that was the limit it would hurt them.

    • Mr0303

      The issue would come from 3rd party AAA games that consistently go over that size. There is only so much compression and optimisation developers are willing to do.

    • blackice85

      Yep, and Nintendo games have typically been on the smaller side from what I recall, even now that they’d had 25gb discs to work with this generation.

    • Mr0303

      Yeah, they usually don’t have HD textures or cutscenes with much dialogue, which are the main things that require extra space. The 25GB discs and the small HD of the Wii U may be part of why the third party support was abysmal for it.

    • Jefferson Boldrin Cardozo

      Bigger discs alone wouldn’t make much difference for the Wii U. The Xbox 360 used DVDs and even after the Wii U was released, 360 got a lot more games.

      Wii U had so many problems I wouldn’t know which one I should start with…

    • Mr0303

      The 360 had an already established user base, but it’s true that the Wii U had many other issues that led to its poor performance.

    • bobmlord

      Well part of the reason they go over so much is the use of uncompressed assets. Since they have the disc space they don’t feel the need to use compression. So there’s a bit more room there than we might think.

    • AllahTheGreat

      Theres no need to go over 32GB. Because most games is or of 3rd party:
      1) Not gonna exceed that much space, even it is a available choice.

      2) It will be a compress data that fit into the 32GB or less. That require installation to HDD..Looks at many of PS4 games and PC games that have a physical medium. Either a full data install or semi data install. When data are install, they becomes un-compress. There true size will be reveal.

      3) Many games won’t being playing of off disc/cartridges if installing to HDD is the thing these days. It is the PC experience when software are install to your local HDD and run off it. Although a disc or cartridges require to run it or to play that software, because of legitment and security.

      4) Flash base storage, prices are fallen per semi-year and the prices kept dwindling down. I bet Nintendo will have to offset balance of certain cost to lower GB cards to make up some sum for higher GB cards. So it wouldn’t effect there budget too much. Its a strategy there taking.

      5) Games will still cost the same price as todays many standard price tag. $59.99 USD. If it is a Handheld and a Console release with unify game card reader that can play both NX games of handheld or Home Entertainment system. Probably except certain exclusive titles for one of the platform. Welp, the price tag will still be $60 bucks. Probably except some titles.

      6) $60 bucks is a lot of $$ and DLC makes up lost of sum or make more sum to developers. Like all hardware parts including storage medium of choice. Rather it is cartridges or optical disc. They are brought in bulks and under O.E.M price tag with special contracts to we business there dealing with. Including a fix/adjusted cost.

      7) Developers never like Nintendo to begin with. And made many excuses through out the decades and time.

  • Will they be region locked, or will Nintendo get with the times and make them region fre- ah, who the fuck are we kidding… It’s Nintendo we’re talking about.

  • Jon Idoncair

    i thought this was stated a long time ago O.o

  • AllahTheGreat

    Cartridges or optical discs, Doesn’t matter whatever the storage medium is.
    They all get there own fair share of getting copy and bootleg. Its only a matter of time
    when hackers or Chinese developers figure things out. And it usually happens.

  • Andrew C Eden-Balfour

    I’m a little bit concerned, considering that part of the reason why the transition from Cartridge to CD’s occured in the first place was due to the small amount of data storage on the average cartridge.

    It would be interesting to see how they plan to make 7th/8th generation games on Cartridges, since today’s games can easily reach 50GB.

    • Go2hell66

      i dont think space will be an issue. the memory cards these days have tons of space. the only thing is they still aren’t all that cheap. hopefully they aren’t priced anything like vitas memory cards

  • Go2hell66

    you know how damn hard it is to scratch a blu-ray disc?