The Nintendo NX Might Ditch Disc Drives For Cartridges

The big clue comes from Macronix's financial reports - they're expecting big things from the Nintendo NX.

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FullmetalRoyale924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Lol what a ridiculous notion.

Shaun2k5924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Not really. If they're developing higher capacity ROM cartridges and can keep the cost down, it's a perfectly plausible alternative - which is explained in the article.

FullmetalRoyale924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Yes really. It's ridiculous to go back to cartridges - which is explained in my comment.

_-EDMIX-_924d ago

@Fullmetal- I think its because you and many are looking at NX as a console when it very well may be a handheld that can out to the TV.

If you think of NX as a handheld, pretty sure you can understand why it wouldn't run on disk.

Herbalistic924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

I really doubt 3rd party studios would create carts for NX when PS4/Xbox One/PC are all disc based.

DillyDilly924d ago

I'd rather Nintendo go digital only instead of back 2 fucking cartridges

Yi-Long924d ago

@TheRandomOne; if Nintendo goes Digital Only, you can be sure they'll keep their games at full price for even longer then they already do.

Anyway, I can see them going for 'cartridges' when they're basically locked memory cards (small). I don't really see the return of the old 16-bit sized cartridges.

It might be a smart move when it comes to speedy access to the content (faster loading times), but it could backfire on them if developers/publishers find it too expensive to release their games on a new (and rare, cause exclusive to NX) format.

Either way, at this point, I don't really worry about which format Nintendo will use for their games. I just want Nintendo to focus on making the best possible, non-gimmicky, non-locked, easy-to-develop-for, console, and making sure it gets the best games, both first-party as well as 3rd party.

Hold_It924d ago (Edited 924d ago )


I agree with you. but the biggest mistake you've made in this comment section is trying to get casuals to understand how technology works. They don't want to care or know how things work, and if you try to explain, you're going to get downvoted, and just told you're wrong, because they don't want to listen.

Cartridges like you've said give similar benefits to read/write speeds as SSD's do, but I doubt any of your downvotes know that, or can even understand that, yet alone want to. I'm sure they also don't know that frames per second is also affected by Hard Drive Read/Write speed and CPU and GPU and RAM, not just RAM, GPU, and CPU exclusively.

sk8ofmnd924d ago

Yeahh except they would still charge 59.99 msrp a cartridge. No thanks.

inveni0924d ago

A cartridge, as we remember it, is just an early version of flash memory. Flash memory is very cheap nowadays. As ROM, it is even cheaper. If the NX is something you use at home AND on the go, tiny cartridges for physical media only makes a ton of sense. Take your entire game library with you in something the size of a single bluray case. Coupled with Nintendo's disinterest in DVD/BluRay video playback on their systems, this is not a stretch to suggest.

darthv72924d ago

With less moving parts means less heat produced and power consumption. The trend in modern PC is the move to SSD hard drives. Capacity is increasing and prices on existing units are lowering. For a new system to use a form of NAND flash memory for carts or specialized SSD would be pretty cost effective in the long run. And certainly much quicker to access than optical or traditional mechanical hdd.

WhoCaresWhatMyNameIs924d ago


Yep and how cheap flash memory is, this is certainly plausible. Even more so if the hybrid console rumor turns out to be true.

Whitefox789924d ago

There's no need to even use ROM's any more its just Flash Chips. This isn't really the first time we heard this either. It's even detailed in the patent for the NX there is no Optical Drive. The real benefit for them going this route is that the game developers can make their own hardware for their games for post processing.

Think any Sunsoft game on the NES with their music.

badz149924d ago

Actually Nintendo can use what ever format they want and at this point, going with flash-based catridges is one of the more plausible way. Unlike Sony, Nintendo has no attachment to bluray. Sony was and still is the biggest pushers of bluray out there and with the movie industry sticking with it, we can bet that PS will stay using BD for a foreseeable future. MS just don't want to be left out of that market, so they adopted BD too.

There is nothing wrong with cartridges as long as they keep the game prices at $60...lower would be better.

mcstorm924d ago

@_-EDMIX-_ I am with you. I have been saying for a few months now I don't think the NX is a replacement for the WiiU but the 3DS as the timing is right. I do thing they are doing something different with it though in terms of power companied to the other handheld consoles they have brought out.
If it has a TV out for me this could be a big plus. I have found my self not really gaming on the go much and I never tended to pickup my 3DS or PSV much when I was at home and sold them both late last year. I loved the TV out side on the PSP and if Nintendo can cerate something where the NX is a handheld console with a kind of dock that you plug it into and it then works on your tv as well as with wireless controllers ever the WiiU/Pro/Wii controllers to this would be amazing. But no one out side of Nintendo knows what the NX is going to be so until then all we can do is post things like this on what we think it will and wont be. Cant wait to see what they do though. I love the WiiU I know it did not get the big 3rd party support but the IP's Nintendo have given it have been amazing even missing some of the big names Like Zelda, Metroid ect,

fox79923d ago (Edited 923d ago )

Plus with using carts they can make it a more quiet compact and still extremely powerful,disc drives are loud and also discs get scratched,carts last for ever with zero scratches so more robust and better value for money.

EDMIX said if it's a handheld that can out to tv then you can see why they would use carts,let me say if it's a Home console and a separate handheld that share same eco system and multiplat games ect then it would be in Nintendo's interest to use carts on both consoles to make developing more easy ie both use carts instead of 1 using discs and another using carts,but for audio both consoles would need sound processor's.

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Shaun2k5924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Cartridges offer a number of advantages. The biggest being the read speed is higher than that on most blu-ray readers (That's why you need to install games; because the consoles otherwise wouldn't be able to read the data off the disc fast enough). Cartridges have a high read speed - the only issue is that they're not big enough to be cost-effective. But if Macronix have successfully developed their next-gen chips (Which they were testing earlier this year) then it's perfectly plausible for Nintendo to make use of that new tech.

It also means that Nintendo can leave a disc drive out of the console - making it slower and quieter in the process.

NotEvenMyFinalForm924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Cartridges only make sense if the console offers no HDD but you still need one for digital games. So at the end cartridges offer no advantage, only disadvantages in the form of higher costs.

ChickeyCantor924d ago

> Cartridges only make sense if the console offers no HDD

Discs only make sense if the console offers no HDD.


Whitefox789924d ago

The patent for the NX details it indeed does not have any form of an Optical Drive.

TheUndertaker85924d ago

"But if Macronix have successfully developed their next-gen chips (Which they were testing earlier this year) then it's perfectly plausible for Nintendo to make use of that new tech."

So they announced the system last year, have development going on at least internally, and went with an alternative available almost a year later along with not even proven? Less than a year from launch?

Would seem like a Nintendo thing to do. Keep costs of the system low as to make a profit day one, strip the potential of backward compatibility from physical sources ensuring digital reliance along with Nintendo the largest piece of the pie, then dismiss the chance for physical media like Blu-Ray, DVD, and CD being usable on the system though it has the potential to increase value.

Come to think of it, this all sounds very familiar to one of their recent consoles. Announce it by showing off one small detail, don't show anything for a bit, tease games that later turn out to be nothing like their teasers, limit the tech to one media type while dismissing other media, then talk about the profits they're going to make while having an incomplete base for said product.

freshslicepizza924d ago

of course there are advantages but cost isn't one of them which is why it would be a major mistake. especailly if nintendo ever hopes of getting back third party support.

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_-EDMIX-_924d ago

Not really. If its a handheld that outs to the TV, its likely not going to use disk.

I think many are seeing NX as a console and I've been saying since last year, it very well may just be a handheld that can out to the TV like PSP 3000.

DS, 3DS etc don't use disk.... In regards to being a hybrid, it would have to be by default more handheld then console, they couldn't have this huge device that had to be used with disk, but portable. It makes more sense to make a powerful handheld that can play on TV. I think its doable as just look at 3DS...

ninsigma924d ago

I didn't even know psp 3000 could do that!! :O

Veneno924d ago

Then why would they hold back the new Zelda for nx release If it's only a handheld ? That makes no sense.

TheUndertaker85924d ago

The PSP Go output to TVs.

The PSTV was also created for exactly that. A PS Vita that output to TVs.

KeiraSlater924d ago

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ninsigma924d ago

Going back wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. The reason we moved to discs was because discs had more space back them. Doesn't seem to be an issue now and from what I've read, cartridges offer faster read delivery means very little to no load times. Discs may be the widespread solution being used but that doesn't mean it's the best one. If advancements in old tech (or even new tech) can give better game delivery, then I'd be all for it.

FullmetalRoyale924d ago

True enough. The way you presented it sounds very reasonable.

OrangePowerz924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Discs would still hold more data and be considerably cheaper.

It would make sense for a portable system to use cartridges because of size reasons, but if they are only 32GB that could cause quite a few issues for games not being able to fully use the power of the system (provided it has a strong hardware) because 32GB can be quite limiting.

We really need to see the system before we know if it's good or bad not to have discs.

_-EDMIX-_924d ago

I don't disagree with anything you are saying Ninsigma, merely we must factor price.

Sure, it is faster, holds more then it used to, it also cost a developer more money to distribute. I only see it likely based on NX likely being a handheld and not getting games near the same size as dedicated console games.

32GB is good for most games, but many bleeding edge games will have to skip it.

ninsigma924d ago

Yeah I haven't read too much into it but seems like cost is what I'm ommiting from my first comment and admittedly I don't know what that cost would be.

codarossa924d ago

But are the developers the ones distributing the games or is that Nintendo's job? Is price of distribution even a factor for developers?

ninsigma924d ago

Codarossa, unless it's a Nintendo game then it's the devs who cover the cost of distribution as far as I'm aware (possible exceptions where there are exclusivity deals in place).

OrangePowerz924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Codarossa usually whoever makes the game would get the bill for the production. So if you make the game you would need to pay for the cartridges or discs because they have the production factories.

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The 10th Rider924d ago

Not really.

If it offered benefits over disks it could be worth it, simple enough. Let's wait and see before we call it ridiculous. If everything that seemed ridiculous was shot down before it became reality, we wouldn't even be close to where we are today.

ChickeyCantor924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

>Yes really. It's ridiculous to go back to cartridges - which is explained in my comment.

The loading time on cartridges are minimum. It's the BETTER alternative.
Costs can be higher but their capacity can also be tailored towards game sizes.

I rather have cardridges than discs.

Zeldafan64924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

I just posted in a separate article a few days ago why going back to cartridges would GREATLY benefit the consumer. I'll share it again here if you want me to.

1. Less moving parts meaning less chance of the console breaking, either from disc reader breaking or console overheating.
2. It saves power saving US, THE CONSUMER on our electric bills as well as helping the environment.
3. It's quieter for a better user experience.
4. With the games not needing to be installed from the carts to the harddrive it will make the harddrive actually last the way it's supposed to.

Like I said in my previous post on the matter. I don't understand why I don't see people upset by the fact that even though you bought a physical copy of the game it still has to be completely installed onto the harddrive. Why would anyone be all right with that? That would bother me greatly and yet so many people just tacitly accept it. Anyone who doesn't complain about this is being very anti-consumer against themself, THE CONSUMER!!

FullmetalRoyale924d ago

Do you, man. If it would make you happy to share that, then be my guest. 🙌

garrettbobbyferguson924d ago

How is it ridiculous? The Vita has "cartridges", the DS and 3DS both have "cartridges".

deafdani924d ago

Why is it ridiculous? A cartridge can now hold insane amounts of data, has little to no loading times, and it's more durable and resistant to damage than any disc based media.

Artemidorus924d ago

Well it's been spoken about already.

Notellin924d ago

Actually I was hoping the new consoles would use flash memory instead of Blu-ray discs. The games have to be installed anyways to play from discs nowadays. At least carts and other forms of flash memory have fast enough transfer speeds to save hard drive space.

Would also be nice if they could shrink the size of of game cases. If games were on 64gb memory sticks the packaging could be far smaller.

There is actually plenty of benefits to using carts or flash memory as opposed to discs. Such as the ability to increase the size of memory sticks over the life of the console. A blu ray disc has a hard limit on space but memory size on flash memory increases with the demands.

pcz924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

a return to a cartridge format console is a really good idea if they want to successfully commit commercial suicide

fr0sty924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Cartridges can have faster transfer rates, so less of a need to cache data or install games to the system HDD, can have extra memory on board to enable storing game updates without using up system HDD space, and can be more secure as the security can be wired right into the chips. The only downside is a higher cost per unit on the publisher's end, but the cost of flash media is getting cheaper by the day.

Sirk7x924d ago

Exactly, especially if deals have been negotiated with manufacturers (which they obviously would be) for mass production.

conanlifts924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

Cartridges can load faster and don't need to be installed to hdd. They both have advantages.

rainslacker924d ago

Cartridges may be a bit of a stretch, however, SD type memory isn't so much anymore.

However, they still cost more than optical media, and in general, publishers are trying to reduce the cost of physical distribution, not increase it.

Optical and hard drive seem more suitable to the demands of publishers today, however, rumors say this might be a hybrid mobile console, so carts of some sort would make more sense.

RashBandicoot924d ago

Well an SD card can now store more data than a disc. Plus it's faster to read and process than an optical lens.

Picnic924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

"Yes really. It's ridiculous to go back to cartridges - which is explained in my comment."

I don't call repeating the same statement being 'explained'. All you're likely to have done is accessed the part of your brain that said 'cartridge- old tech. ha- why did N64 use that?' (very fast loading, made piracy impossible and will have made Nintendo a lot of money) and decided that we all needed to know how coolly sarcastic you are about Nintendo even though today's cartridges may be very, very different. It's not like Nintendo would consider cartridges if they weren't better than what the WiiU did. They don't necessarily have to be better in all respects than what the PS4 and Xbox One do to be broadly current gen.

923d ago
ProLogY923d ago (Edited 923d ago )

Actually it's not a bad idea.. If they use flash memory it would actually read data faster than a disc or HDD. Meaning much faster load times.

It's weird, but it certainty isn't ridiculous if there's an advantage to it.

Still I'd rather see the NX go all digital with an SSD..

Kidmyst923d ago

Cartridges have faster loading, I grew up playing cartridge games after Pong and welcome them to consoles. they work well for handheld.

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XtraTrstrL924d ago

I highly doubt it. The only reason people are even considering this is a possible idea is because how Full Retard Nintendo has gone with most their recent console hardware. I don't see the NX going catridge, but I don't underestimate Nintendo's ability to always go outside the box, just for the sake of going outside the box. The main thing with the NX is that it has to be significantly more powerful than the PS4, otherwise it's a waste. At this point in time, anything less than 2x more powerful than PS4 and it's another stupid Nintendo move.

garrettbobbyferguson924d ago (Edited 924d ago )

"Anything less than 2x more powerful than PS4"

Well that shouldn't be too difficult, considering how underpowered both the Xbox and PS4 are. My old rig which had a 100 dollar GPU in it was more powerful.

Perjoss924d ago

They are not underpowered, they are very good at what they do when taking into account the price.

Captain_TomAN94923d ago

Was that $100 GPU stronger than a 7870? Because if it wasn't sorry you are wrong.

JesterMarcus924d ago

There is absolutely no reason for Nintendo to make a powerhouse console. Nobody is going to be buying it to play third party games. It won't have a strong online presence, and it will always be developers' last choice to release their games. Nobody is going to want to spend $400 for a Nintendo console right now, not with VR arriving. Plus, Nintendo has never been known to push the limits of power with their consoles. It would be far smarter to make it on par with a current PS4, and sell it for as cheap as they can.

Kaneki-Ken924d ago

Cartridge is going to kill backwards compatibility for NX so that means that all the Wii & WiiU game disks won't be able to use it at all. Here lies the death of backwards compatibility.

Sirk7x924d ago

Well, word is that they're going with x86 architecture instead of the PowerPC they've been using for ages anyways. Backwards compatibility wouldn't be possible regardless. The industry standard is x86, and that's where they'll need to go to be able to gain multi-platform titles.

blawren4923d ago

People will blame Nintendo for this, when they were the only company to offer it at launch this gen. I'm not seeing a way to avoid this if there is no disk drive. It didn't seem to hurt PS4, but BC is the one feature that might just kill the NX before it launches.

esemce924d ago

Yeah by the time NX releases the PS4 with be almost 3.5 years old. If it's not a handheld then it better be way more powerful than the PS4 neo. But Nintendo being Nintendo who knows, I have zero faith in them anymore.

hiawa23923d ago

If you are expecting Nintendo to make some powerhouse console given what we have seen the last few gens plus they probably want to keep the price down, I don't think the NX will be 2x more powerful than the PS4. Your expectations may be set to high.

wonderfulmonkeyman922d ago

Not even.

If Nintendo makes it so that the thing is just as powerful as the PS4, but puts to work their capable data-crunching teams so that they can fit more into less space and truly optimize the crap out of the games, it should be just fine.

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Casepbx924d ago

I'd imagine it would be more like flash drives than cartridges.

924d ago
RashBandicoot924d ago

Yea, makes sense. Also can read and write as opposed to discs.

Ruggadagod924d ago

HAHAHAHAHA now that's full retard. I wouldn't be surprised though.