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What made Nintendo go with flat cards rather than optical discs for Switch?

Switch Media game cards

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#26 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 1:07 AM

Optical discs only became popular because they used to hold more than semiconductor memory solutions. Today that trend is opposite. Semiconductor flash memory has more density and capacity.

Optical media is so "dot-com"..

#27 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 1:53 AM

Because Blu-ray-type optical media sucks in 2017. It's slow and holds a minimal amount of data compared to SD cards.


Switch games aren't anywhere near BD capacity, almost certainly due to cost. Zelda:BOTW is 13.4GB, and that's by far the biggest physical game on the Switch.

 

Regardless, they don't use SD cards to store games, they use a faster technology that's no doubt a bit more expensive per GB. And that's probably why the standard capacity for Switch games is only 16GB. That's significantly less than even standard Blu-ray, which is 11 year old technology at this point. Blu-ray holds 50GB; UHD BD holds 100GB.

 

Obviously, in a handheld I wouldn't advocate for optical discs, I just couldn't let this go unchallenged. Nintendo isn't using game cards because they have greater capacity than BD, they're doing it because they're physically smaller and more reliable. Those are perfectly valid reasons; there's no point in making up other ones that aren't.


Edited by spacecadet, Mon Mar 6, 2017 1:54 AM.


#28 ZylonBane OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 2:00 AM

Who the hell -- other than the thread starter -- calls game cartridges "flat cards"? That's some Engrish shit right there.



#29 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 2:49 AM

Someone who thinks they're thin cards and not chunky boxes like VCS cartridges?


Edited by Keatah, Mon Mar 6, 2017 2:49 AM.


#30 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 4:16 AM

They should've used cartridges.



#31 CRTGAMER OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 7:51 AM

Do the game saves go directly to the game cart or internal memory? If the save to the game cart, this leads to concerns if the game itself not a separate rom, but part of the flash memory. That would make the game not permanent compared to retro game carts and optical discs.

For anyone who has the Switch, is online authentication with possible DRM download needed for each new game cart inserted? A concern if the games will lock to console preventing used game resell market.

Edited by CRTGAMER, Mon Mar 6, 2017 7:53 AM.


#32 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 8:47 AM

Someone who thinks they're thin cards and not chunky boxes like VCS cartridges?

My mistake. I thought they were shaped a tad like PC-Engine game cards.



#33 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 10:29 AM

Switch games aren't anywhere near BD capacity, almost certainly due to cost. Zelda:BOTW is 13.4GB, and that's by far the biggest physical game on the Switch.

 

Regardless, they don't use SD cards to store games, they use a faster technology that's no doubt a bit more expensive per GB. And that's probably why the standard capacity for Switch games is only 16GB. That's significantly less than even standard Blu-ray, which is 11 year old technology at this point. Blu-ray holds 50GB; UHD BD holds 100GB.

 

Not entirely true.  Largest game to date is out in Japan is Dragon Quest Heroes which is 32GB.  A stock blu ray eats up 25GB and the Switch media can go larger, they're just not offering it at this point probably likely due to the cost of the memory vs profit margin on a $60 game.  And what console uses a UHD BD for games at 100GB?  I know the PS4/One use double sided which is 50GB and Switch could easily keep up with that as costs drop but I'd have to wonder how many games really do approach that big of a need anyway.

 

 

 

CRT: Annoyingly they go on the SYSTEM nothing saves to the game card.  Currently as the system is setup, you can not carry a save between systems either.  It could be fixed with a firmware update, but currently they're stuck (not locked like old Nintendo accounts, just stuck.)  Games are not locked to the system, they work like any old Nintendo cartridge.  You toss it in and play, pull it out and you're done.  But like a new system it does have upgrade patches and those will save to the system but they're not DRM tags.



#34 Indestructible Hulk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 3:36 PM

 
Yes, that's exactly what I've been saying.
 
Like CPUWIZ said, this thread does seem like trolling...

Aw

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#35 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 8:52 AM

Its no longer a secret that the Switch uses flat cards that somewhat resemble vita game cards in size. My question is why did Nintendo go ahead with this route for their Newest console? What exactly was wrong with the Nintendo optical discs used by the Wii and Wii-U? What happened!?

 

also switch is portable.   A spinning disc requires way more power than a cart, so no doubt that was a factor.



#36 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 8:53 AM

Aw

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It seems that way to some, yes, like CPUWIZ for example. Anyway. Many of these replies do input a sad truth: Optical media is likely to go the way of magnetic tapes. :arrow:  :(   :(  :_(  :_(  :_(


Edited by Prosystemsearch, Tue Mar 7, 2017 8:53 AM.


#37 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 8:58 AM

You don't have to rely on drive space all the time, the underside is shiny, and its(usually) easier to get a hold of blank units than that of cartridges and some cassette formats. 

 

Instead you end up with stacks and stacks of physical disks that consume way more physical space.   I won't miss optical discs



#38 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:01 AM

Optical means moving parts.  Moving parts die.  Just look at any Dreamcast, Playstation 1-3, Xbox 1-360



#39 cjameslv OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:28 AM

Guess you guys don't like the psp huh?



#40 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:38 AM

For some of the games sure, but I detested the UMDs.  Load times sucked, easily damaged, if you were on a bumpy ride or something it could cause problems too, and we can recall the launch system if you applied any squeeze to the system would spit the UMD out of the back like a cheap kids pop gun cork.

 

I've never liked optical media, especially for games since they get the most traction.  I've been ok with it on the audio/movie side since they're not used daily and if it wasn't for that we'd have been stuck on lousy tapes still until MP3s and Video Codecs rolled around that were competent enough.  Discs more or less are a curse and not even the best option even when they supposedly were.  The fact the Switch as of now has a sellable 32GB card to game makers to use where they profit well still at the $60 price point says a lot.  Most blu ray games are stuck to a 25GB space, those on PS4/One that crack into double density are 50GB.  That 32GB falls on the lower middle of that scale, and once the size up from that pops (likely 48GB or 64GB depending how they manufacture them) you'll be in parity or a bit above.  Sure they may not cost like 5 cents to make or whatever it is under a dollar, but the trade off is remarkably better in any way.



#41 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:48 AM

Guess you guys don't like the psp huh?

 

I still carry my PSP around for a little Disgaea 2 action.  First thing I did was dump it to my memory stick.



#42 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 11:52 AM

Optical means moving parts.  Moving parts die.  Just look at any Dreamcast, Playstation 1-3, Xbox 1-360

Not as many moving parts as Cassette or VHS drives.


Edited by Prosystemsearch, Tue Mar 7, 2017 11:52 AM.


#43 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:04 PM

That's for sure.



#44 Gentlegamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:08 PM

The only optical system that has died on me was my first PS2 Slim, it can only intermittently read disks.

 

But carts/cards are superior especially when storage size has caught up to disks.



#45 Zap! OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:33 PM

Switch games aren't anywhere near BD capacity, almost certainly due to cost. Zelda:BOTW is 13.4GB, and that's by far the biggest physical game on the Switch.

 

Regardless, they don't use SD cards to store games, they use a faster technology that's no doubt a bit more expensive per GB. And that's probably why the standard capacity for Switch games is only 16GB. That's significantly less than even standard Blu-ray, which is 11 year old technology at this point. Blu-ray holds 50GB; UHD BD holds 100GB.

 

Obviously, in a handheld I wouldn't advocate for optical discs, I just couldn't let this go unchallenged. Nintendo isn't using game cards because they have greater capacity than BD, they're doing it because they're physically smaller and more reliable. Those are perfectly valid reasons; there's no point in making up other ones that aren't.

I know that Zelda is not what many Blu-ray games are in size, but I was talking about maximum possible capacity if a Switch card. I would be very surprised if the can't beat a BR's maximum capacity. Putting costs aside, could they put out (ie: would it fit) a 128gb game if they wanted to? If yes, that would beat any BR. If they could do 256gb (or even 512gb), that would blow away any BR. Not saying they can though, but one would think.



#46 Zap! OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 9:37 PM

For some of the games sure, but I detested the UMDs.  Load times sucked, easily damaged, if you were on a bumpy ride or something it could cause problems too, and we can recall the launch system if you applied any squeeze to the system would spit the UMD out of the back like a cheap kids pop gun cork.

 

I've never liked optical media, especially for games since they get the most traction.  I've been ok with it on the audio/movie side since they're not used daily and if it wasn't for that we'd have been stuck on lousy tapes still until MP3s and Video Codecs rolled around that were competent enough.  Discs more or less are a curse and not even the best option even when they supposedly were.  The fact the Switch as of now has a sellable 32GB card to game makers to use where they profit well still at the $60 price point says a lot.  Most blu ray games are stuck to a 25GB space, those on PS4/One that crack into double density are 50GB.  That 32GB falls on the lower middle of that scale, and once the size up from that pops (likely 48GB or 64GB depending how they manufacture them) you'll be in parity or a bit above.  Sure they may not cost like 5 cents to make or whatever it is under a dollar, but the trade off is remarkably better in any way.

 

How big will the XBox Scorpion's games be? They are on 4k Ble-Ray, which holds a lot more data. 



#47 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 11:46 PM

No idea probably 50GB to UltraBR range which is 100GB.

 

But it's not actually relevant in the least bit if the hardware guys are honest.  At least I know Sony and I think MS would too make it so any game that comes out on PS4/One has to work on there along with their upgraded boxes (in a way kind of like how Switch runs 1080p or 720p on the go.)  There will be remaining and well used tools for the existing systems, and those same tools (unreal 4, unity, etc) are also usable with Switch.  I don't think storage will become a problem in the systems lifetime.



#48 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 1:24 AM

Sony went with their UMD because at the time it had a higher capacity than the DS's Game Cards and because Sony likes pushing new competing formats like Beta Max, MiniDisc, etc. They called them Universal Media Discs because they intended the format to be used for movies, music, etc. as well as games. In other words, they wanted the PSP to be the play everything Walkman of the 21st century with UMD being its format. With Nintendo it is even more simple. They have been using Game Cards since the DS and since Macronix keeps making them better ones to fit their needs they have no reason to go back to Panasonic to make them small but better GameCube Game Discs for use in the Switch.



#49 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 8:55 AM

I know why they did UMD and as always pretty much happens to Sony that they refuse to learn, it backfires. :)  Nintendo is pretty up front about it, they only care about being a gaming system so they go for a more durable and more sensible option, which in this case happens to be a very good way to go since optical is failing to stick around.



#50 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 9, 2017 5:27 AM

I recently bought a 200Gb MicroSD card no larger than my thumbnail. That's twice the storage capacity of a 12cm triple layer UHD BluRay. More importantly, faster speeds than optical disc means that caching games to internal storage is no longer necessary like it was with PS4/XB1.

 

Disc drives are slow, noisy, and bulky compared to flash storage, and optical media has reached it's limit whereas solid state has plenty of room for expansion. While not available at launch, 64Gb Switch cards will eventually be made available.

 

Who the hell -- other than the thread starter -- calls game cartridges "flat cards"? That's some Engrish shit right there.

Last I ckecked, discs were "flat" too... :lolblue:

 

 

It seems that way to some, yes, like CPUWIZ for example. Anyway. Many of these replies do input a sad truth: Optical media is likely to go the way of magnetic tapes. :arrow:  :(   :(  :_(  :_(  :_(

And this is a bad thing?

 

Too bad we can't just put the games on vinyl records! :rolling:







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