Nintendo NX might bring back game cartridges

Nintendo NX might bring cartridges back

The chances of the Nintendo NX just being another ordinary game console are getting ever slimmer, as a new report bolsters claims that the Wii U successor will use cartridges over discs to house games.

Recent advancements in flash technology have made cartridges the smarter choice for the NX, offering greater loading speed and faster production cycles compared to discs, industry sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Discs, the standard for console gaming since the original PlayStation, quickly took over as the dominant media for games thanks to cheaper production costs and higher storage capacity.

Cartridges, which had been a mainstay since the mid-70s' and even persist today on the 3DS and PS Vita, were phased out on consoles due to higher costs per unit and not having the space to keep up with the biggest, most demanding games of the time.

However, in a world where microSD cards now hold as much as your laptop, solid state drives can weigh as much as a paper clip, and 60TB is a thing that exists, cartridges could be making a comeback.

The case for carts

On top of the advantages with today's tech, analysts point out that cartridges are more resistant to scratches, making them perfect for families with small children - a market Nintendo is always keen to appeal to.

Additionally, with reports that the NX might be a console/handheld hybrid, cartridges are a perfect choice for portability - forgoing a disc drive would make the device significantly lighter, cheaper, and less of an energy drain, not to mention that the sturdy casing of carts are better suited for on-the-go play.

While Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the NX, it's only a matter of time before the company finally spills the beans on its elusive machine. With March 2017 targeted as the NX's launch window, Nintendo will need to drum up some details and soon - perhaps in a fortnight's time at Tokyo Game Show?

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Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.