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coolest SHAPED cartridge STYLE of all time

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By far, it has to be the Xonox double ender - Chuck Norris Super Kicks / Artillery Duel.

 

... yes, yes, I know. It's two of the same thing. :)

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When it comes to sexy, I'd have to go with Jaguar, though you rarely see 'em "stacked" (:)).

 

I also really like the classy feel of the Channel F carts... nice and solid, with the VHS tape-style door, and real gold contacts. N64 carts fit in the classy category as well (but they needed end labels).

 

I also love the way Genesis carts fit perfectly into all different kinds of cassette holders, but groan every time I run across the occasional 32X cart that doesn't (EA games as well).

 

Honorable mention to the 2600 double-enders, T-handles, and all the other variations.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Atari Jaguar cartridges! They even have a round handle to pull them out of the system by. I don't know why but I always thought the Jaguar carts were awesome looking, sleek and pleasing to handle. The Genesis cartridges are cool too. Small but not too small, and sleek looking too.

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I think these cartridges are the sexiest.. Atari 2600 carts made out of wood:

 

post-6095-129665834724_thumb.jpg

 

I havent been active on these forums in forever! I completely forgot you were making those! Last i remember it was just an idea and you were still programming Skull Island. Man i'm wayyyyyyy behind lol. That cart looks absolutely AMAZING! Awesome awesome job bro.

Edited by SekOner

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Cart as work of art? I guess the Jag carts fit into that.

 

Cart as functional design, well that requires a little thought.

 

To me, the ideal console cart should have a few things going for it:

(Not necessarily in this order.)

 

Cart MUST have end labels.

 

Cart should be of a reasonable size. Not so big that storage is an issue, but not so small that you could wash it in your pocket.

 

Cart should have an easy to clean connector

 

Cart should be FLAT so stacking them is easy.

 

Cart label should be durable and properly glued on. Seperate end label is nice too, wrap around lables seem more likely to fall off, then you have no idea what it is.

 

Carts should be black plastic so they don't look too gross.

 

By my critera, the winner would be the classic spring door 2600 cart. icon_smile.gif There is nothing I dislike about those carts.

 

I'd put the standard Genesis carts a close second.

 

As someone who has cleaned a WHOLE lot of carts in my day, I can say I'm not much of a fan of anything Nintendo is this regard. They all have unnecessary grooves and design details that do nothing but collect dust and grime.

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Partially loose labels are so easy to fix I would prefer wraparound, as if the end gets unstuck it can't get lost. So I'd put Activision ahead of Atari for that reason, plus their nifty ridges and grooves that make stacks more stable.

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I am too familiar with the Jag as a system in general. I will have to research it. For Atari, I got the 2600, 5200, and Lynx.

 

I agree that the Nintendo 64 games look awesome, but I found my games eventually got a big ugly faded spot near the top middle, where my thumb grabbed the games! My SNES games didn't have this of course, cuz of the 'eject" button....But it's not the fault of the N64 games, so I still consider the N64 game shape near the top of my list. I like the black ones, like Turok 2 and 3 the best of course.

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But yeah the N64 carts lose some points for not having an end label of course. An unrelated fond memory for the N64 was Treasure's Mischief Makers.

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As someone who has cleaned a WHOLE lot of carts in my day, I can say I'm not much of a fan of anything Nintendo is this regard. They all have unnecessary grooves and design details that do nothing but collect dust and grime.

 

its funny since nes games came with those black sleeves game boy came in plastic cases and snes had snap on edge protectors

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I really like the GBA shape, though I came late to portables with my DSL. To me the GBA feels more like an Atari brand cart--compact, firm, well put together (when you don't get a rattler). I like how it fits flush with the GBA:SP. I like the size of the label and artwork. I feel like they are too big to lose, and that I can tuck an extra on in my pocket and not worry about it getting ruined.

 

I always liked the Activision, Sega, and Imagic carts for the 2600 because they seemed so unique, but something about their lack of compactness, and all the ridges and wings and what-not made them both special and not as "durable feeling" as the Atari brand carts.

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I've always been partial to the card type games. Just the fact that they are so small. So games like the SMS card games and the TG-16 games just seemed like some neat engineering.

 

The NES games always felt a bit clunky to me. Jaguar games have an interesting look... curved with a handle... but I remember people being annoyed with the lack of end labels on them, as well. I think there's even a thread where someone was designing end labels for them, but I'm too lazy to look it up. Although I don't necessarily like either the SMS or Genesis cartridges, I do like how they didn't really change size much, the Genesis just got more rounded. Like they evolved.

 

I also agree that disc games themselves are usually quite boring. Possible exceptions are the Game Cube games (for being small), the old Playstation games (that had black surfaces), and Blu Ray games (because they're blu). The packaging was pretty standard stuff, too.

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I do not like the M-Network cartridges. They do not store well and can't even be stacked. It makes no sense to me why they were designed that way. They are boring-looking, too.
Yes, they are a pain in my butt. I always assumed that they designed them to retain the identity of the Intellivision carts that they were ported from.

It was probably done as a cost-cutting measure. If you look at Intellivision cartridges from about 1982, you'll notice that they added small square holes to the shells, near the cartridge opening. The M-Network 2600 cartridges use exactly the same shell; they just snapped a "2600 adapter" into these holes and used a 2600 circuit board that was designed to fit into their existing Intellivision shells. That probably spared them the expense of tooling an entirely new cartridge shell for the 2600, but as you say, these cartridges didn't lend themselves well to stacking or to fancy labels.

 

I really like the Imagic design, but the ridges and the Imagic logo on the "lip" do tend to collect dust and grime. The Atari design is probably still my favorite, but I can think of a few things that I would have changed. I would have eliminated the "dust doors", but without creating "gaps" in the face of the cartridge (as they did with the "Tramiel era" cartridges). The PCB guide and the cartridge door push-pins could have snapped into the cartridge opening, for example, as was done with later Intellivision cartridges. I probably would have changed the label design so that it would be a "wraparound" instead of two separate face and end labels, because as A.J. Franzman says, it's harder for end labels to get lost, and easier to fix loose labels. I also would have used a more secure and less breakable fastener to hold the shell together than the snap tabs that Atari used (I've seen third-party cartridge shells that used dowel pin fasteners, for example), which would have also eliminated the need for a screw underneath the label in the face of the cartridge.

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What? PS3 game discs aren't blue. PS2 had some blue discs (CD-ROM I think), but PS3 games are gold-ish.

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Okay, if we're talking about cartridges other than 2600 cartridges, my answer is easy: the Mattel Aquarius.

 

aquarius-cart-side.jpg

aquarius_16k_ram.jpg

 

It's a strange shape, to be sure, but I like the way the cartridges disappear when they're inserted into the computer:

 

aquarius-wcart.jpg

 

They don't stack too well, of course, but they do stand up nicely if you put them together inside a drawer.

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What? PS3 game discs aren't blue. PS2 had some blue discs (CD-ROM I think), but PS3 games are gold-ish.

 

Hmm, I always thought of them as having a blue-ish tint. Not like the older ps2 discs though, those were extremely blue.

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I think these cartridges are the sexiest.. Atari 2600 carts made out of wood:

 

post-6095-129665834724_thumb.jpg

 

Is that for real???? HOLY!!!! Where can we know more about this?

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I do not like the M-Network cartridges. They do not store well and can't even be stacked. It makes no sense to me why they were designed that way. They are boring-looking, too.

 

THey were made this way because it was probably cheaper to put an "adapter" on the end of the zillions of INTV shells they had already mass produced.

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I think my favorite cartridge design, has to be the Activision carts. Label issues aside, that small ridge on them really helps them stack perfectly and look great in my collection. Otherwise I think there are a lot of great cartridge designs, however it seems the more exotic the cartridge design, the more it strays away from usability in both stacking and identification with the loss of end labels.

 

One interesting cartridge design that I don't recall being mentioned in the thread, were the games for the Microvision. While un-boxed they also had the same shortcomings as other systems (stack-ability and end labels) they essentially transformed the face of the system while they were being used.

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