The End of Cartridges?

I just watched the new Pach Attack on Michael Pachter was making a comment that this might be the last time Nintendo will be using the flash based media (aka cartridges). It’s possible though. I’m pretty sure they’re (Nintendo) looking at the iPhone/iPod Touch model. But there really hasn’t been any way to distribute that media other than iTunes isn’t it? Unless they figured out a way to distribute it in stores, I think Nintendo will continue to use cartridges at least for their handheld systems.

What do you think?

On a related note, I wonder what the hell happened to the DS Vision?


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  1. Physical media will never die unless B&M stores are still around.

    Well, I can’t say never but do you find a store full of gamecards akin to the PSPGo selection at all appealing? I don’t.

  2. The medium also has the slow/outdated internet to thank. In its current form console games are just too big for quick download. I’m not spending the first day (or longer) waiting for my purchased game to download so I can play it.

    Companies will be afraid to let users download early because then there is the good chance of it getting pulled off the HD and turned into a disc image and now its out on the net early.

    I feel some sort of ‘gratification’ when I hold my purchased games. Something that isn’t felt when I buy a DLC game. Not that I don’t enjoy those games, but they don’t carry the same weight. And with a console that has made a shift ala the PSPGo i’ve been turned off completely.

  3. What do I think? I think that the day Nintendo or any other company for that matter stops making physical media is the day I stop buying their systems/games.

    • This. I much prefer physical product to digital distribution. That’s not just the collector side of me talking either, although for me, the art work on the box, disc/cart, manual and extras are all part of the joy of gaming and games collecting if you ask me.

      It’s also a case of ownership. I don’t like the idea of shifting to a model where you no longer own the games you buy, you simply purchase a license to play the game that can be unilaterally revoked at any time for any reason.

      It’ll be a sad day for gaming if digital only distribution becomes the standard.

  4. I’ve read that the 3DS will allow you to install your games to the console. The only way I can see this working is if the cartridge locks itself to your console so you can’t lend the game to all your friends.

    I’m betting this will be a permanent lock on the cartridge too, designed to kill the second hand games market (disguised as an anti-piracy tool).

    Of course just like DSi Ware I’m sure this also means if your 3DS breaks or is stolen your collection of games won’t be transferable to a new system.

    In 20 years time collectors like us are going to have a hard time finding 3DS games that aren’t locked to a console. For the immediate future I suspect we might see a lot of scam auctions where people sell carts and claim they’re unlocked but aren’t…

    There’s also talk that the 3DS might have a 3G connection built in, so it might be the case that games can be bought and downloaded, helping to bring about the end of cartridges that much sooner!

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