Published in Gaming

Nintendo NX will mean a return to the cartridge

by on05 May 2016

Like the 3DS

We have suspected that the Nintendo NX rumours was going to abandon optical discs for game storage, but we thought it would move to download only.

However Macronix, the company which traditionally supplies Nintendo with its ROM chips, has dropped a big hint that Nintendo could opt to use cartridges or game cards for NX, like it does with the 3DS.

Japanese Financial website Money-Link has indicated that Macronix is expecting a bumper period of growth around the same time that Nintendo launches the NX.

“Macronix's ROM chips are usually supplied to videogame console maker, Nintendo. Although the sales is in off season during the first quarter, the revenue is similar compared with the same period last year. Wu Miin suggested that as Nintendo had just announced it will release a new generation console in March next year, and the console will be launched at the same time in Japan, America and Europe, so ROM's sales is expected to increase in the latter half of this year, and it will have a large growth potential.”

Its theory is that the company recently began testing on a newer line of 32nm ROM chips. The Nintendo 3DS uses 75nm (max 8GB storage). This rules out the new cards being used for the handheld. Logic says it must be for the NX.

Macronix, which has been in trouble lately, saw its chairman Wu Miin claim that the “worst situation has passed". He expects that the company can potentially get rid of loss in the third quarter as the orders of an important customer, Nintendo, will have critical impact.

What made this odd was that Macronix sales performance usually peaks during the third quarter, and tanks in fourth quarter. Wu Miin pointed out that because Nintendo has announced that the new platform will be launched in March next year, orders should be placed in advance. Therefore, the operating revenue of Macronix in the fourth quarter may be as good as the third quarter.

Wu Miin noted that before the launch of Nintendo's new platform, the sales of ROM is expected to remain unchanged in this year, but there is growth potential

This suggests that Nintendo could potentially shift back towards ROM-based media. Sony shifted from optical media on the PSP to small flash cards on the PS Vita. It would make more sense for games to be supplied on cards as disks are impractical on a mobile device. Removing an optical drive would reduce the manufacturing cost of each NX console.

Last modified on 05 May 2016
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