'Nintendo NX' Release Date, News & Updates: Goodbye Discs; Next Console Will Reportedly Use Cartridges

By V Doctor , Updated Sep 05, 2016 10:23 AM EDT

Nintendo NX is currently in development and there are rumors that it will feature cartridges instead of discs, similar to the Nintendo 3DS. Company insiders shared that the Nintendo NX will go retro, which may appeal to classic gamers. The Nintendo 3DS currently relies on cartridges at present. Nintendo NX will most likely showcase smaller cartridges compared to the ones used by Super Nintendo and N64 in the past.

GameSpot noted that one of the main issues with cartridges on Nintendo NX is the limited data that these can contain compared to discs. Normally, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game discs can save up to 50 GB of data and usually require additional installations on the console hard drives. It is still uncertain how much data each Nintendo NX cartridge can contain, or whether the company will provide some enhancements that allows it to store more information.

The Wall Street Journal reported that chip-based cartridges are getting much attention again, due to stiff competition among semiconductor creators like Samsung Electronic Co. and Toshiba Corp. These companies are working to develop flash memory that can store more data onto small chips at lower prices. According to industry watchers, the Nintendo NX may benefit from cartridges because the company is targeting a wider range of consumers compared to its competitors.

Some of the benefits that Nintendo NX cartridges can provide include more resistance against damage, faster loading times, more difficult to replicate and faster mass production. Some experts agree that cartridges are the best format to distribute games physically. However, a Nintendo spokesman did not comment on whether Nintendo NX will indeed feature cartridges.

There are reports that Nintendo NX may be both a handheld device, as well as compatible with a television set. Some say that adopting a cartridge should maintain the device's portability. There are also reports that the Nintendo NX may feature detachable controller modules that attach to both sides of the screen.

Nintendo NX will be introduced before the end of 2016. Some speculate that an announcement may happen before the Tokyo Game Show on Sept. 15, 2016. More updates and details are expected soon.

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