NX May Use Cartridges??

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VideoGameCritic
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NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 5th, 2016, 9:34 pm

I usually don't pay attention to articles like this, because it's all speculation, but this would be pretty neat if it turns out to be true.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/201 ... cartridges

As most of you know, I've been asking for the return of cartridges for years!
The only thing better would be if the system is offline too!

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scotland
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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby scotland » May 6th, 2016, 8:35 am

Here is the ars technica article
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/why-nintendo-nxs-rumored-shift-from-discs-to-cartridges-is-actually-smart/

Portables have always been cartridge based, and if the NX is some sort of portable docking/console thing, that would continue to make sense. Physical media is also nice to give a company a brick and mortar retail presence, instead of just empty boxes with download codes, and Nintendo needs those retail partners still. Maybe future Amiibos will have a slot to store the proprietary solid state storage cartridge in them.

Solid state memory has continued to advance in capacity, while optical discs are being used just as a go-between to sell the data before loading it onto a hard drive anyway. Since the Nintendo brand is less about graphical photorealism and more about gameplay, their games are probably much smaller, and this gives them an alternative the other two would not consider. Plus no optical drive would reduce cost, increase reliability, decrease heat and power consumption, and decrease space requirements.

Going to cartridges also helps makes visibly marking the NX as different, and might connect them back to their old glory days, which are also good. Plus, even in 2016, many gamers still don't like the patience required from modern graphically stunning games.

The system will be online though. The offline days are over. Even the 3DS benefits from being online, although I turn off the connection except when absolutely required. I have been hit with mandatory system updates from time to time, but for the most part, a 30 minute gaming session is about 30 minutes of gaming time, and I enjoy getting digital downloads on humble bundle and such.

The NX will be online for those mandatory system updates, access to the e-shop, non-Amiibo 3rd party dlc, for sharing user made media, patching games, anti-piracy safeguards, Youtube/Netflix/Hulu streaming, and of course, online play. With Nintendo having dived into mobile gaming now, they will want a way to link those offerings to the NX ecosystems too, which can only be done online. No, I wager the NX will be the most online focused Nintendo product ever.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 6th, 2016, 11:03 pm

My comment about it being offline was in jest, but I am excited about a new cartridge based console. It makes sense. I mean, if Nintendo is going to release a new console, it has to have something new to offer. Graphics slightly better than the PS4 is not enough. But releasing games on cartridge can have all sorts of ramifications. I hope it happens.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby Atariboy » May 7th, 2016, 12:44 am

I hope that if true that it doesn't backfire on them. If they want to be 3rd party friendly, they need 50 gig capacity cartridges and they need to be priced competitively.

I don't think that they need to quite match the price level of a dual layer Blu-Ray if they indeed will be able to sell a game to every next-gen Nintendo owner instead of to just half the market at a time like in the past, since surely that's worth a bit of a premium here. But at the same time it can't be priced many times that of a dual layer pressed Blu-Ray disc. And even in 2016, that's going to be a tall order to accomplish with flash based media.

Limited cartridge capacity and/or high per cartridge production cost will just cripple the situation before it even starts. And with what already promises to be a difficult battle to gain support from 3rd parties given past history and the dominance of the competition, that's the last thing that Nintendo needs.

I hope that they haven't forgotten the lesson they learned during the N64 years. I love cartridges, but they need to make sense for 3rd parties if it's going give the NX a chance to regain support that has been lost over the past 20 years.

scotland wrote:Portables have always been cartridge based


I assume that you're specifically discussing Nintendo handhelds here, but just in case you were talking in a broader sense, the PSP famously was optical based with Sony's proprietary UMD disc format.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby ActRaiser » May 7th, 2016, 10:51 am

Well, cartridges certainly solves the problem of buying a game once and using it on both your console and your portable system. As for the problem of getting to 50 GB, well, they could always do what we used to do in the past, insert disk 1, insert disk 2, etc. It's not like it's impossible.

And frankly, other than the pre-rendered movies and cut scenes in games at 1080p there's probably little need for such large disks to begin with.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 7th, 2016, 11:27 am

Based on some of the comments I read here, capacity/cost is not really an issue with cartridges any more.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/w ... lly-smart/

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby Rookie1 » May 7th, 2016, 6:58 pm

I dont think carts are a bad idea. I mean, if you think about it, discs have been unnecessary for a decade now and neither the PS4 or the Xbone even use the discs to play the games. Its just an install. They just need to have a large enough capacity, and be easy for 3rd parties to develop for. I really feel this is Nintendo's last chance at a home console. They really need to do everything right, or the consumer base is going to pass.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby Atariboy » May 7th, 2016, 9:43 pm

ActRaiser wrote:As for the problem of getting to 50 GB, well, they could always do what we used to do in the past, insert disk 1, insert disk 2, etc. It's not like it's impossible.


While certainly not impossible, it's obviously more expensive from both a media and a development standpoint, it's not even very suitable for many types of modern games, it's not handheld friendly, and it's also rather inconvenient all-around.

Not an ideal solution for attracting 3rd party publishers or the millions of gamers that enjoy titles like Red Dead Redemption.

ActRaiser wrote:And frankly, other than the pre-rendered movies and cut scenes in games at 1080p there's probably little need for such large disks to begin with.


When major 3rd party XB1/PS4 titles are often approaching the limits of a dual layered Blu-Ray disc these days, I very much disagree.

If Nintendo wants to lure back 3rd parties away from the Xbox One and the Playstation 4, 50 gig capacity media is all but a prerequisite. I think they'll even find 32 gigs like cited in the Critic's link as overly restrictive on some of these major AAA releases. Lots of big titles have been a struggle to fit within the confines of media with over 50% more capacity to play with than what we're talking about here.

And while I'm sure that 32 gigs is ample capacity to create fine AAA releases on the NX, the last thing you want is to make NX support even more specialized. If they're serious about reversing their 3rd party situation, they need to be lifting roadblocks if they want multiplatform developers to support them. Can't ask developers to go too far out of their way to support the NX when they're likely already leaning towards just ignoring it anyways given past history and the established success of the XB1/PS4.

Trimming down a 45+ gig PS4/XB1 release to fit within the confines of 32 gigs is going to be an easy way to insure that some big titles that Nintendo had a chance of a publisher like Take Two taking a chance on, never coming to the NX. So if Nintendo wants to really up their 3rd party support, they need as much commonality as possible like a x86-64 based CPU.

The simpler and more economical supporting the NX is, the better their chances of regaining that support will be.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 7th, 2016, 10:55 pm

I think this conversation also highlights a sobering reality, which is that the current discs don't really facilitate video games as much as transport them to the hard drive.

The fact that PS4/Xbox1 games require mandatory installation is a huge downside that the media have really downplayed and frankly swept under the rug. Sometimes I feel like this is the only site you can trust anymore, because the others are afraid to state the obvious.

When people are about to stick in a cartridge and play a game immediately, it's going to be very difficult to go back to discs.

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Re: NX May Use Cartridges??

Postby Atariboy » May 8th, 2016, 12:46 am

We don't know that though. We're not talking about the cartridges of old, but flash based cartridges like the DS/3DS/Vita utilize.

If they go to such cartridges, it's hardly a given that what we're discussing here would have the access speed to pipe through the data necessary for a next-gen game like GTA VI. And take it even further like some rumors suggest with the NX being more capable where 60fps/1080p/lossless audio would be in reach for many titles that are a bit downgraded today in those areas on the XB1/PS4, and we'd be looking at even more intensive data demands.

While one would hope that the more portable oriented games would bypass installations and run directly, it still very well could be a possibility for more ambitious console/PC style fair on a cartridge based NX system.


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