It’s looking more and more like the forthcoming Nintendo NX console will rely on cartridges for playing and storing games.
The Wall Street Journal has it on good authority the Japanese giant is going back to the format it last embraced on a home console with the N64. Since then, the Gamecube, Wii and Wii U have all relied on an optical drive.
The report says Nintendo is returning to cartridges because they load faster than discs, are harder to copy and can be mass produced faster.
Also, the WSJ’s sources claim, Nintendo knows cartridges are harder to damage than discs, which is important considering young children are a considerable element of the company’s clientele.
Related: Nintendo NX: Everything we know
The report says: “Nintendo’s core fans include small children, who might scratch discs but find cartridges tougher to damage.”
Given the NX is rumored to have a portable element, that added durability and potentially reduced size is also important.
If gamers will be carting their cartridges around with them and whipping them out in public, optical discs don’t really feel like the most prudent option.
Will they be full-sized beasts like the 64 consoles or can we expect 3DS-like cartridges?
We won’t know for sure until March 2017.