Nintendo’s Disc Free System is Smart and Makes Sense

TheArabGamer writes: "A lot of people seem to have taken a backlash at Nintendo’s recently patent console device which doesn’t include an optical drive. Here’s the thing: optical drives are obsolete."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
-Foxtrot1150d ago

It's a silly idea, especially when there is a lot of people out there who like physical discs.

Remember when Microsoft with the Xbox One tried to force things onto the consumer and didn't give them a choice.....didn't work out well.

MrSwankSinatra1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

So you're trading a disc for a cartridge, how is that silly?

-Foxtrot1150d ago

If the carts can hold the same or more then what Microsoft and Sony use...fair enough

But if they don't and they require us to download the rest of the data then I couldn't care less.

MrSwankSinatra1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

@-Foxtrot Discs require you to download data onto your hard drive anyways. So that point really makes ZERO sense. Not to mention carts have been able to hold more data than discs for years. Disc technology hasn't come that far when compared to carts.

-Foxtrot1150d ago


Not the same in the slightest

If you had a cartirdge and it had a small amount of data on it only for us to download the remaining 30+ GB then it would be silly

PS4/Xbox One dosen't make you download most of the game does it. You can still play them even if you didn't have a internet connection meaning you don't have to download anything to fully play them

"Disc technology hasn't come that far when compared to carts"


Is that why Sony whizzed past Nintendo when they released the PS1 since Nintendo REJECTED their offer to team up and use their discs.

DemonChicken1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

I see alot of people mentioning cartridges so I don't understand where this cartridge rumor came from - the patent mentions no optical drive which kind of suggest no backward compatibility with previous physical media but does mention read/write card slot that can read from devices (such as an SD memory card).

Dasteru1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )


"Is that why Sony whizzed past Nintendo when they released the PS1 since Nintendo REJECTED their offer to team up and use their discs."

The PS1 was released 21 years ago. Do you also believe horse drawn carriages to still be the best way to get from place to place?

Dual Layer Blu-Ray disk = 100GB storage
There are USB flash drives out already that have 1TB of storage. A game dedicated cart could theoretically have several terabytes of storage space (crazy expensive but not the point)

6x Blu-Ray disk (As is in the PS4) = 27MB/s read
Current top end flash memory = ~1.7GB/s
Typical flash memory used in mid range SSDs = 550MB/s

Flash memory (Cartridges) is far beyond disks and has been for many years. Just because disks were superior a couple decades ago, doesn't mean they still are.

1149d ago
Dasteru1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

Edit to my last post.

I meant quad layer (currently the highest capacity available) Blu-rays = 100GB.

showtimefolks1149d ago

why this is hard for Nintendo is beyond me

meet with the publishers and ask them what it would take for our console to get their games at the same time as ps4, Xbox one and pc

meet with developers and ask them what they would like to see us improve and how can our console be better than ps4 and Xbox one. ask them what they don't like about ps4 and Xbox one and make sure we don't have the same issues

go hard after indies, offer them the best place to make their games and provide them with any help needed

offer fee online game play, and make sure our service are on par with psn and Xbox live. no matter how much work it takes and no matter how much it costs

get blue point studio to remaster or remake old Zelda games. and I if was running Nintendo I would make sure Atleast 2 past Zelda games launch with the console

make sure a metroid game is launching with Nintendo

a new built from ground up F ZERO

bring in a lot of new talent and make our studios 2 or 3 teams each. don't make the fans wait as long for the exclusives

sign kojima no matter the cost and let him own his ip

get insomniac to do future sunset over drive games for Nintendo

it's not so hard. if Nintendo is only run by people who actually understand that gamers want games.



Nintendo makes enough money from handheld to afford some risk taking

ShinMaster1149d ago

I wouldn't mind cartridges.


Dude, flash memory nowadays holds a lot of GBs. This ain't the 90s.

XBLSkull1149d ago

Physical games need to die already, keeping the digital titles high priced and it's bull**** since they cost less to produce.

Bimkoblerutso1149d ago

Yeah, I'm with yall. It really depends.

As far as cartridges go, I wouldn't mind at least seeing how that technology unfolds for Nintendo's console. This generation has made it quite clear that the physical size of media is increasing exponentially faster than the storage capacity of our optical storage solutions. That's why every game we put in our PS4 or XBONE is automatically installed, and then almost always patched immediately with a sizable download. Our games are just too big for our storage. If a game could be reliably run off a chip-based cartridge without the need for installing, then I think it could work.

If this is a play for a 100% digital Nintendo ecosystem...I am out right here and now. I didn't like it when Microsoft suggested it, but there is no way in HELL I'm investing in a digital system from a company that is as backasswards as it can possibly be when it comes to digital content.

mikeslemonade1149d ago

It's just another lame attempt by Nintendo to make it big. Nintendo usually strikes out. They got lucky with the Wii1. This will be another flop.

1149d ago
UltimateMaster1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

Card cost significantly more to produce than discs.
3rd party will prefer going with disc and not support the NX.
Didn't they learned Anything from the N64?
Games on the N64 were 80$, while the PS1 were only 40$, for the same game.
Will you go off and pay 100$ for a game you could get for 60$ on the other consoles?
Didn't think so.
Also, the PS4 is using Dual-Layer Blu-Ray disc that supports 50Gb, and they produce a disc for only 0.25$. Try getting an 64Gb SD card for under 1$, I dare you.
Sony has a patent for a 128Gb Blu-Ray Disc and BDs can go up to 500Gb.
Nintendo will kill themselves if they don't release a optical Blu-Ray Disc Drive.

ShaunCameron1149d ago

@ XBLSkull

But those production costs are offset by server maintenance and bandwidth costs.

@ showtimefolks

Free online gameplay? At a time when when even Sony abandoned it? LOL. I do agree on them needing to get it up to par, though.

SonyWarrior1149d ago

no physical game option no buy for me. this will die just like psp go did

Bltby381149d ago

You can't go by the prices of flash memory on Amazon or Best Buy to see what Nintendo would pay for it. You have to look at what wholesale bulk prices are for flash memory. Here you can buy 1GB-64GB Micro SD cards for $0.87 each as long as you buy 50,000 of them.

Losso-Oso1149d ago


I have never understood why people think that an all digital future would be so much cheaper.

while production costs may fall some what, due to the lack of physical media production, those costs will be offset by a spike in server maintenance, IT employees and other costs that will arise from the maintenance and upkeep of server farms.

I work in IT, my job is fairly simple and boring, things don't normally get exciting around the office unless something completely breaks, and let me tell you, my coworkers and I don't come cheap, like at all.

Not to mention that I don't trust any of these companies with an all digital future. I don't trust Nintendo, I don't trust Sony, I definitely don't trust Microsoft with it. Heck I still have a hard time trusting Valve with Steam.

I guess cartridges could work, or flash storage, and buying flash storage in bulk can bring the cost down to similar levels of that of disks, but not close enough.

Unless the difference will be one or two cents, third parties will not support anything that will bring up their costs from what they are now, unless they are getting something extremely valuable to them in return, like the death of the used game market.

That's another thing, if the big three were to go all digital at the same time, it would cause a huge spike in the demand of IT workers, and if we have a shortage of them now, at least here in the states, just imagine what that kind of demand will do to salaries demands from those of us in the field.

I know that I would at the very least demand 3x my current salary, and I'm under asking according to my coworkers. SO all and all, going all digital could potentially, actually make games more expensive to make for a short while.

Also, and I cant say this enough, Digital protection rights for consumers are extremely bare bones right now. Even in Europe where they are making progress by leaps and bounds in terms of protecting consumers in a digital age, and don't even get me started on the states. Compared to Europe we are decades behind, and Europe is still no where near where the protections need to be to at least offer the same level of consumer protection that physical media provides.

If the extremely likely scenario of a rise in games costs, games becoming a service instead of a product, probably losing 90% of your consumer rights and ownership of the products you purchase, you right to do with it as you please, and having your games be at the mercy of a faceless corporation as far as the games remaining active and playable, if in all honesty, you would trade all of that away for a little more convenience on the next gen of consoles, sounds good to you?

Then more power to you, nut if that is the case then this is probably my last gen in the gaming world.

+ Show (15) more repliesLast reply 1149d ago
iDadio1150d ago

You would have a point but Nintendo fanboys are the most loyal defenders, but if they want to make as much success as their handhelds they are going to need to listen to the consumer base properly. That and get third party a lot more on board instead of rehashing the classics

-Foxtrot1150d ago

"You would have a point but Nintendo fanboys are the most loyal defenders"

Example right above you.

showtimefolks1149d ago


so true man. they need to listen to gamers not the very very very local minority. the reason for my 3 very's is because Nintendo fanboys base isn't big enough for just one very

and fox I am above him lol

BVFTW1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

If they offer flash cards with similar memory capacity as BDs while not having an impact on games prices then it will be an excellent distribution media.

ABizzel11150d ago

The problem is exactly what you said.....price.

A 25GB Blu Ray disc is less than $0.40 to produce since they can be sold at a value of $0.50 per disc and result in a profit.

Flash memory while much cheaper these days than say 5 - 10 years, still isn't anywhere near the price of a Blu Ray disc to produce even in obsolete models such as 4GB / 8GB.

BVFTW1149d ago

It makes me really curious to see their take on this issue if this is the direction they're going. Technologically speaking it's obviously a superior medium but it isn't as cheap as discs when looking at high capacity cards and the difference might be significant for 50Gb games, even when buying in bulk I imagine it still doesn't compare to the manufacturing cost of discs. We still don't know what this is but that little patent generated quite a spark ^^

PsylentKiller1149d ago

I see partnerships with SanDisk, Seagate, Western Digital in the future. Hell, one of them may throw a fighter into the console ring.

freshslicepizza1150d ago

steam has many more users than what the new generation of consoles have combined and they don't use physical media. nothing about this new system is suggesting anything like what microsoft posed for the xbox one. which required an online connection at least once every 24 hours. that is what really put people off, this constant monitoring they never explained why it was necessary.

what is evident is digital sales are on the rise and things like cloud computing offer exciting possibilities. yes there is still a large portion of gamers who refuse to buy digital but we already live in a generation where you can succeed if they don't offer physical content (netflix, steam, itunes...).

Aghashie1149d ago

I had to disagree because u r comparing Steam user base w new consoles generation.

Steam has been around since the PS3/XB360 era, I think is more logical to compare to them.

Now, do the math and let's talk numbers.

freshslicepizza1149d ago

all the more reason to suggest it. since steam has been around a long time and with internet access growing and getting faster what's the issue again for consoles?

3-4-51150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

* Nintendo knows people love Physical copies of games and collecting Nintendo items so I have a feeling there is a way to have both.

There is so much we don't know, that trying to speculate on what little info we have isn't going to do a whole lot.

* NX reveal is one of my most anticipated thing in gaming for 2016. Can't wait to see what they have to show us....but I try to stay positive about it.

* Also Cartridges were more appealing to collect and had a certain instant nostalgia factor even back during initial release in the 90's.

Cartridges don't scratch, last longer, more appealing to collect, people can't pirate them as easily...ect..

There are benefits to Cartridge.

nitus101149d ago

I remember this same discussion 20 years ago when the PS1 was released and we all know what happened there.

Sure flash media has gotten bigger and even cheaper, however it is still more expensive than disk (ie. CD/DVD/BD) devices which are very cheap to produce. Don't believe me then compare BD prices with an equivalent capacity flash device.

When a games developer has a game published the cost of the distribution media is a factor that must be considered. Yes they could go all digital for maximum profits however that is assuming everyone has a high speed internet connection.

>> Cartridges were more appealing to collect

That's conjecture and dependent on the collector.

>> Cartridges don't scratch, last longer, more appealing to collect, people can't pirate them as easily

Cartridges are active devices in that they have electronics in them. Sure the case may be very robust but electronics can fail, but then again disks can be scratched. It depends how they are handled.

As for piracy. If software no matter what media it is on it can eventually be pirated. For example it is not that difficult to get the roms for Nintendo and Sega cartridges.

>> There are benefits to Cartridge.

Just as there are benefits to passive disks and cheaper usually always wins.

REDDURT1150d ago

Nintendo fans will defend anything they do. I think they will still have a storage medium.

Ck1x1149d ago

I think most Nintendo fans actually want Nintendo to return to a cart/flash medium for their games because 1. It's definitely leaning towards buying one game that plays across multiple devices and 2. Optical drives are slow and a bottleneck. Nintendo already said that they would never go all digital, so people can stop listing that as a negative.

ChristianTheAtheist1149d ago

@Ck, your point 2 becomes invalid if compared to PS4/Xbone since games don't run from the disc but directly from the HD instead.

garrettbobbyferguson1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

"IF the carts can hold the same"

Why wouldn't they hold the same? It's a medium of storage. We have video (Magnetic) tape that can hold 185 TB from Sony. Mind you, they're not even cartridges. That technology has been obsolete well over a decade. They could go so far as to even use SD cards, although some proprietary medium may be best. Who knows.

LackTrue4K1149d ago

For me personally I don't mind, I want a compact size tho! That way I can take it with me to Mexico (go down there monthly).

Hell, I wish both Sony and Microsoft made those option. With/without disk drives....
That way we have options and @ a cheaper price.

pcz1149d ago

obviously backwards compatibility is out the window now though...

thats bad news because i have yet to buy a wiiu, but was buying wiiu games. with the knowledge that nx is just around the corner, i was hoping it would be B/C so i didnt have throw over one hundred pounds down the drain on a useless wiiu.

its ironic that the wiiu might actually be the last nintendo console i ever buy.

marloc_x1149d ago

With unified accounts around the corner pcz, I think Ninty will have us covered :)

1149d ago
truechainz1149d ago

Jokes kinda on you for buying those games without a solid knowledge of what the NX even is.

pcz1149d ago (Edited 1148d ago )


the joke isnt on me, actually. i bought mario kart 8 practically on release day. that was well before the NX was even announced.

nobody could have foreseen the successor to wiiu coming so soon. it leaves late adopters like me in a predicament- do i buy a wiiu or wait until NX? assuming the NX is backwards compatible makes the decision easy- just buy wiiu games and play them on the NX.practically all nintendo consoles in the last decade have been B/C.

but again, nobody could have foreseen that the NX wouldnt even have an optical drive. that is not the joke being on me. perhaps the joke will be on nintendo when their move backfires and nobody is interested. after the pathetic performance of the wiiu at retail, that is a very strong possibility.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1149d ago
Yetter1149d ago

my XB1 has yet to have a disc inside of it. If MS would have had an option to buy one with out the disc drive I would have picked that up in a heartbeat

quaneylfc1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

It's nice and progressive, modern day gamers need to be forced into going without discs.

Look how successful Steam is and think how annoying it is changing discs, especially chaning the discs for 3 consoles in 3 different places.

SegaGamer1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

I don't see anything annoying about changing discs, it takes about 10 seconds. If this annoys anybody then they must be a very lazy person.

quaneylfc1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )

I said annoying, not physically taxing. Gamers need the cases thrust out of their hands, Ms and Sony are kicking themselves for not conforming to it earlier. Too bad they need to make friendly with the stores every year so hardware can be sold.

DarXyde1149d ago


Yes, let's destroy physical media and go purely digital. Of course they'll lower the prices of games when their online stores are now the sole means of obtaining new games. Yeah, these companies will DEFINITELY honor the fact that they're cheaper to distribute and won't try to capitalize on an opportunity to make more money.

...really, dude? REALLY?

player9111149d ago

There is no way a cartidge is cheaper than a disc. Discs are super cheap to make. While I lile downloadable games that prevents me from changing discs all the time, being forced to buy the same game over and over again is stupid.

DeadlyFire1149d ago

Well you know if Microsoft had the confidence and pushed ahead with that plan you never know it might have worked out for them. Valve did that with Steam. HL2 dropped and it was take steam or don't play the game. Then well Steam caught on some couple of years later and grew up pretty fast.

jcnba281149d ago

Nintendo isn't forcing anything. It's a feature on the console (if patent is for NX).

Understand the difference.

Jdoki1149d ago

Hmm, let's see. Rare Replay, Halo MCC and Dead Rising 3 to name only three games that came on disk but needed huge downloads to get the most out of them (or even be playable).

Most games come with Day 1 patches now, and some are huge.

I don't see the problem in Nintendo going digital only, or cart based + download for the next console.

People are getting used to large downloads. Some iPad / Phone games are well over a GB. Plus, if Nintendo are smart, they can build player profiles and download to temp files the data for games a person is likely to purchase so they are ready to go.

The problem as I see it is for people with capped internet - but those people face the same issue with patching certain games on other consoles.

JsonHenry1149d ago

@foxtrot- They'll just add enough static-ram to hold information needed on the carts. The data storage on the carts can be as big or small as needed.

And the read times will be hella faster than optical drives. So faster loading times. "Cart technology" (RAM basically) has made LEAPS AND BOUNDS more progress than disc drives over the years.

You are so wrong on almost all of your points. How do you have so many bubbles when you are so woefully misinformed about the tech you go on about?

gedden71149d ago

I feel as though, Nintendo will use card or cartridges. more memory and maybe NO loading times. I think this is the way to go.

XanderZane1149d ago

The problem with Cards and Cartridges is that they are more expensive to manufacture then Blu-Ray discs and will cost Nintendo more in the end. They are faster then discs when it comes to loading however.

gedden71149d ago

@xanderzane actually no where as $$$ as they were in the past. I think around $2-$4 to make which comparable to blue rays right??

XanderZane1149d ago

My main problem with this all digital console is that you really don't own the game. When you purchase the game from a retailer or digitally online, all you're going to get is a code that allows you to download the game and digital manual. Nintendo or whatever publisher will still have ownage to the game and could easily make it unplayable on your console if they wanted to. Also, you have no way to sell the game and get some return money once you've beaten it. Of course it's already like this with most digital indie games, but most of them don't cost $60. If Nintendo wants to go all digital with the NX, that's fine, but I wouldn't spend more then $30 on a digital game. Nintendo will save millions by not having to manufacture blu-ray disc, manuals and boxes for their games. So pass that savings onto the gamers.

TAURUS-5551149d ago

i just think......XBOX1 is dead.....i believe XD

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 1149d ago
MrSwankSinatra1150d ago

I'm all in for Nintendo going back to carts.

Eidolon1150d ago

Why, because of nostalgia?

MrSwankSinatra1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

Yeah it must be nostalgia. I mean Nintendo using a cheaper and virtually better alternative to discs must obviously be nostalgia. Carts don't have the ability to eliminate load times, carts don't have the ability to hold even more data than discs, carts are not able to read and write data, carts aren't more reliable and able to hold their hold their value more than discs. I mean Nintendo going with cartridges over discs wouldn't make their console more reliable because there are less moving parts in their system, due to the elimination of an optic drive. Yeah it must be nostalgia


_LarZen_1150d ago

Because discs can get scratched and has no identity like a cartridge. And loading time from a chip is faster then with a laser on a disc.

ABizzel11150d ago


Yet disc cost $0.40 or less to produce 25GB of storage. Meanwhile, flash memory $5 for 16GB.

It doesn't make sense, and in the end gamers will be the ones paying that additional cost bringing games up from their current $60 up to $70 if not more.

It just doesn't make sense outside of a handheld, where games are much smaller and a 2GB / 4GB card is more than enough, offers faster read / write times than a disc, and isn't 10x the asking price of a disc.

On a console where games are averaging 20GB it doesn't make sense, unless you want to make games cost more.

RegorL1149d ago

@Abizzel1 comparing production price of disks with retail price of flash? Would not surprise me if small flash chips are cheaper...

iamnsuperman1149d ago (Edited 1149d ago )


Discs are far cheaper to produce than flash. It is a why developers moved to disc over cartridges. Most of what you said is right but don't call it a cheaper alternative to discs. It is not. It could be a major issue for Nintendo in the long run going flash. It adds to an already expanding budget. I see it pushing more developers and publishers away which is the opposite of what Nintendo needs. One of the major reasons why the Wii U failed was due to lack of support. I know the future is moving to digital only but not by the time the NX comes out. We are still in that transition period

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1149d ago
fanboysmackdown1150d ago

I just want them to make a console I want to buy. The last two were kiddie toys.

MrSwankSinatra1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

The Wii U is actually pretty dope (though has some flaws) imo. Sure it might be slim pickings when it comes to games, but it's a dope console. The Wii U is what the original Wii should have been if you ask me.

fanboysmackdown1150d ago (Edited 1150d ago )

Glad you like it, I think it stinks. The gamepad is not my idea of a good time. Give me a proper controller and hopefully the NX does away with the gimmicks so they can attract 3rd parties because that's where their last 2 consoles lost it for me. If they're out to only appease the fanboys, I won't be buying another Nintendo console.

Spotie1150d ago

But those flaws are the reason the console isn't doing very well. It's kinda hard to agree with it being "dope" when it does very little to appeal to gamers that aren't already Nintendo fans.

DragonKing811150d ago

And it will always be kiddie toys because that's what Nintendo represents

garrettbobbyferguson1149d ago

Video games are toys in general. Just so happens some of them are for adults. Also just so happens that these adults are too embarrassed to play something that doesn't seem "mature" enough.

ShaunCameron1149d ago

Only to those who haven't gotten over the GameCube's purple lunchbox look, Nintendo sure does.

Lennoxb631150d ago

Yes. If they make it a modern day gamecube type console I am sold.

nitus101149d ago

The GameCube used propriety disks although you could get an adapter to play game-boy games via the cartridge.