Ultimately abandoned after the Nintendo 64, the cartridge was long feared dead until chip-based cartridges started garnering new attention. Flash memory can pack a ton of data onto a single cartridge, and with fierce competition among semiconductor makers like Samsung and Toshiba, the price is hoped to reach parity with the disc at some point in the near future. When this happens, the cartridge may become relevant again — or we could be playing on consoles that require us to download new titles and forego physical formats entirely.
For now though, we know that after months of rumors that the Nintendo NX may be cartridge-based — it is.
Those with small children — a huge portion of Nintendo’s fan-base — will appreciate the new format as grubby little child paws will no longer be all over your expensive discs. Nor will we find them in odd places, like the DVD player.
Cartridges also offer faster loading times, make games harder to copy and can be mass-produced faster than discs, according to industry insiders.