Will Nintendo actually use cartridges for physical gaming media with their upcoming NX console? It’s possible, and we’ve heard rumblings regarding the format before today. Now we have more evidence suggesting physical media in a more old school fashion is possible.
This time, a NeoGAF user by the name of Atheerios did some trademark scouring for information. They found that Wii U games specifically mention “optical discs” as their media, though no mention of cartridges. Nintendo 3DS game trademarks include the phrase “video game cartridges” with no mention of discs.
The trademark for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a game that’s bound for both the Wii U and Nintendo NX? It mentions both “video game cartridges” and “video game discs.” Here’s the screenshot provided for reference.
Do cartridges make sense for the Nintendo NX? They definitely do. While certainly not as cheap as discs, flash memory offers a whole lot more flexibility in terms of capacity and read speed. Flash memory could easily offer 1TB of capacity and read speeds could exceed 200MB/s. Flash memory also offers the ability to write data, so Nintendo could conceivably let gamers keep their saves on both the NX and the cartridge itself.
The Wii U’s proprietary discs, for comparison, feature 25GB of capacity and a read speed that’s been quoted at 22.5MB/s. Flash memory on cartridges boasts significantly bigger capacity at a much higher read speed.
I’m all for the format switch, personally. What about you?