Discs Are Passé And Game Cartridges May Be Back In

Portable systems excluded, Nintendo 64 was the last console to use cartridges, and it has been years since the gaming industry made the switch to optical discs given that they offered a storage capacity advantage at a lower cost. However, this may all change with the NX, reports The Wall Street Journal

Currently, PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii U use Blu-ray discs which max out at 128 GB if quadruple layered. Small, portable flash drives on the other hand have evolved to a point where they can store up to 1 TB of data, more importantly, storage capacity keeps increasing at a continually decreasing cost. 

According to people “familiar with the matter” this has not gone unnoticed by Nintendo which is why they plan to go old-school for the NX and make cartridges a thing again, or at least that’s what the WSJ says.

Industry specialists point out the following in support of this hypothesis:

  • Chip-based cartridges can store more data at lower cost.
  • They are kid friendly and durable.
  • Faster loading speeds.
  • Easier to mass-produce yet more difficult to pirate.

The cartridge rumor is not new but having the WSJ reporting expert chatter about it does seem to give it a little bit more credence, also, given that cartridges would require less physical space the other rumors about the NX being a small console and portable device hybrid would then make practical sense. Nintendo has so far declined to comment on anything related to their upcoming console and that includes whether or not the NX will use cartridges, but there is speculation about an impending announcement given that the Tokyo Game Show is set to begin on September 15.