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Would You Like a Return to a Type of Cartridge?


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I absolutely hate buying something I don't really own or control. I don't buy MP3 files or video files. I would MUCH rather own a physical copy of music, even if it's on cassette than to pay money for a digital file. The same for books, only it's actually worse because the books are both protected any only work on 1 format and you usually don't even save any money. I own several 100 year old books! Nobody is going to own a Kindle in 100 years, probably not even in 20 years. Certainly, it will be different.

 

I own hundreds (prob more like thousands) of games from various systems on cartridge and CD. While I didn't like the transition from cart to CD (durability and load times), I still OWN those games and the systems they play on. If the console still works in 50 years, I can still play them. It doesn't matter if the company no longer exists or the server no longer exists, it's mine and I can play it, trade it, sell it or rent it to someone.

 

The industry seems to be moving in the digital download, you don't own it model and in some cases (so I hear, I don't own anything but a PC past the PS2 and Xbox), the game needs to be verified via a server. From what I understand, they are always connected besides. I'm pretty sure they can unperson you as well. If they kick you off, what happens to your "digital assets?"

 

Though it probably won't happen, I would like to see a return of cartridges. Flash ram is dirt cheap. I have bought 32GB thumb-drives and SD cards for $15 at Walgreens (not exactly the cheapest place to get them). Housing the flashram in a cartridge format would be great, from my point of view. Theoretically, they could even update the game if there are necessary patches (though I believe a game should be FINISHED before it ships). A security chip could be installed for piracy purposes. This wouldn't cost much and would be worth it IMHO.

 

While it's probably wishful thinking, if people demanded it, it would happen. I understand the smaller games really being too cheap to distribute on a physical medium and allows access to games which might not be possible without this method, but for the bigger games, this should really be an issue. If you pay for something (a product), it should be yours and you should have something physical to show for it. The new model seems to be "Let them build their own movie theater and then charge them if they want to watch the movie"

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I'd love a return to cartridges, but it won't happen because a lot of people actually like digital downloads, and as more people "age out" of buying the latest and greatest games all the time and get replaced in that market with younger people who have grown up without physical media, that trend will only accelerate.

 

Personally, I won't buy something if I don't think I can use it if I want to in 20 years. But I recognize that that's me being old. I've lived long enough to know that I do still use a lot of the stuff I owned 20 or more years ago. But 20 years ago that wasn't true because I hadn't lived long enough for it to be true, so I was fine just buying stuff and then throwing it away when done (only to want to buy it again later). And that's the age of people that the game makers are counting on rushing on to PSN or the Nintendo eShop to buy the latest releases.

 

So there are two factors, I think. One is that increasingly, kids are growing up not experiencing physical media, or experiencing it just enough that they consider it inconvenient. Two is that kids and young adults are generally pretty wasteful in general and think of games as disposable - that's *always* been the case. You don't really gain an appreciation for keeping stuff around long-term until you're old enough to have lived long enough to do so.

 

There are obviously exceptions and I don't know how old you are. But I think that mostly, it's middle aged and older gamers that want to hold on to physical media, and return to cartridge. (I definitely would prefer cartridge to optical disc for reliability reasons... though I'd keep around my Xbox One S for 4k Blu-Ray!)

 

Obviously you do have the Switch as a current option, but I often feel like Nintendo's trying to kill off the cartridge as the main format even on that, in favor of downloads. And a lot of games on cartridge still seem to require downloading practically the whole game before you can actually play it.

Edited by spacecadet
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Accepting an age of download-only games implies accepting a world where video games are purely disposable and forgettable toy products. You play a game for a while, and when you're done with it, you buy another, and more importantly, you don't look back.

 

If it's worth looking back upon, it will eventually get some kind of reboot. Look at Tomb Raider, they brought that back on modern consoles and they re-imagined it while they were at it. One day I'm sure they'll bring back the Half Life series (and finally release #3 in some form) just for the heck of it too. There are tons of games that will never get such reboots and nobody is going to miss them. I think this really illustrates the disposable nature of this hobby.

 

We're older, we grew up with this stuff and we have an emotional link to them (call it nostalgia or whatever else) so we want to preserve them as physical media. But the kids of today, who can just download the latest games and never have to bother with carts and discs, won't feel the same way about it when they reach our age. They will accept the disposable nature of games far more easily than we do.

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As I get older, I'm more into experiences and less into owning stuff. "Disposable and forgettable" describes the vast majority of physical media I've owned in my long life. I'm fine to let it go.

 

yea the only physical media I own is maybe 7 pc games and a few carts for various systems, mostly for testing systems (like my only nes game is spyhunter)

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Accepting an age of download-only games implies accepting a world where video games are purely disposable and forgettable toy products. You play a game for a while, and when you're done with it, you buy another, and more importantly, you don't look back.

 

If it's worth looking back upon, it will eventually get some kind of reboot. Look at Tomb Raider, they brought that back on modern consoles and they re-imagined it while they were at it. One day I'm sure they'll bring back the Half Life series (and finally release #3 in some form) just for the heck of it too. There are tons of games that will never get such reboots and nobody is going to miss them. I think this really illustrates the disposable nature of this hobby.

 

We're older, we grew up with this stuff and we have an emotional link to them (call it nostalgia or whatever else) so we want to preserve them as physical media. But the kids of today, who can just download the latest games and never have to bother with carts and discs, won't feel the same way about it when they reach our age. They will accept the disposable nature of games far more easily than we do.

 

For me, a lot of it is liking what I like. The arcade type games of the 80s and early 90s are a relic and just don't exist today. I have never really been attracted to games that claim to immerse you in another world or something. I've always enjoyed fiction of this type, but it has just never worked for me in the games realm.

 

I don't necessarily want a reimagined reboot of a game I used to like playing. Far better to improve the game in some way and make it #2 or #4 or whatever. But if I want to play a game I used to play, I would rather just take it out and play it. If I like a game that much, I have saved it.

 

I am afraid you are right that people are getting used to it and are just accepting it. I think it's a total ripoff.

 

As I get older, I'm more into experiences and less into owning stuff. "Disposable and forgettable" describes the vast majority of physical media I've owned in my long life. I'm fine to let it go.

 

I have gotten rid of LOTS of games. But in most cases I didn't simply throw it away. I sold it or traded it. When it comes to digital downloads, that option doesn't exist.

I have no problem letting things go, but there are lots of things I would rather hold onto.

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Yes, because I despise loading times that comes with disc-based games and huge digital downloads. Almost all of my cartridge-based games feel faster than newer stuff, which does not need to be the case. A not so theoretical console in the near future that combines large capacity cartridges with very fast data transfer rates and a solid-state drive and plenty of RAM could sell quite well and run circles around a HDD-equipped system. Efficiently coded games and smaller filesizes could also help ease modern loading times.

 

Also yes, because I do prefer to own physical copies that I can always replay indefinitely and because I do not enjoy having to wait around re-downloading gig after gig of something I already "purchased" if I ever have to delete something and then want to play it in the future, if it even is still available.

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(like my only nes game is spyhunter)

I like that port, too. So many other versions attempt to overcomplicate the controls. The Sunsoft NES version nails it, so playable. I have a cartridge of it somewhere, but it seems silly to have a hunk of plastic to encase 32K of data.

 

I have gotten rid of LOTS of games. But in most cases I didn't simply throw it away. I sold it or traded it. When it comes to digital downloads, that option doesn't exist.

I have no problem letting things go, but there are lots of things I would rather hold onto.

I sometimes wonder if people talk past each other because they perceive things in different ways. It's entirely possible I've got more cartridges than you ... I choose to keep the stuff I like, too. I think ROM files are even more durable, especially those that don't rely on someone else (a digital store, etc) for preservation.

 

I get alerts from the GameDeals group on Reddit and it seems like there are daily deals on physical releases, something that doesn't interest me in the least, but lots of people must be into them.

 

Just got back from MicroCenter, where I got some flash memory for various projects. 32GB for $5.99 makes more sense than the $25 I paid for my 32K NES Spy Hunter cartridge when it was new.

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As I get older, I'm more into experiences and less into owning stuff. "Disposable and forgettable" describes the vast majority of physical media I've owned in my long life. I'm fine to let it go.

 

I agree with Sturgeon's Law that "90% of everything is crud", but the older I get, that remaining 10% still just keeps adding up in absolute terms. If I only like 1 out of every 10 games I see, that's still probably 3 or 4 games every week that I want to have in my collection. 52 weeks in a year, 40 years or so of playing video games, and that's a lot of games... and there are only more coming, both new and "new to me".

 

And I don't really agree with those that say there are always ways to play games if they're good, even digital ones... someone asked a little while ago here about After Burner Climax, which as far as I can tell there is no way to play now if you didn't buy it when it was out. In fact, check out this list of delisted games: https://delistedgames.com/all-games/

 

A *lot* of those are games that, if you didn't already buy them, you have no way at all to now. And while Sturgeon's Law applies to them too, that's a long list, and even 10% of it is a shame to lose.

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Available time to play seems to be decreasing, even as choice and volume goes up, too. The top 20 of any PC Gamer list should be enough for any lifetime. It's only because we're wired to collect and like new stuff that we want more, I guess.

 

The other side of the digital transformation (besides the entire classic oeuvre being available as 'illegal' ROMs) is how games change and evolve now. I think the days of "buy a box with a finished, unchanging game" is becoming a strange concept. Yeah, unfinished stuff comes out and gets patched later, but that's not what I mean.

 

It's how lots of things really are "services" that grow and change and get better the more people play them. Fortnite is a great example of that, they add things and change stuff all the time, events come and go, and it's more of a platform than a single volume as we once knew games.

 

I know that's not for everyone, especially oldsters like us, but it makes a lot of sense to me. It's closer to the "arcade" world of 1980s kids, where gaming was social and there was always something new on rotation. We didn't feel the need to own everything we touched, and it was a treat, an exception rather than the rule to have a kickass home game that held our interest.

 

I have Afterburner Climax on at least 1 platform (can't remember if I bought it on PS3, Xbox 360, or both -- probably on a sale) and I am slightly ashamed to say I never really played it. There was an iPhone version too. Maybe they can bring it back for "Sega Forever" which isn't really forever, just like us mere mortals.

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And I don't really agree with those that say there are always ways to play games if they're good, even digital ones... someone asked a little while ago here about After Burner Climax, which as far as I can tell there is no way to play now if you didn't buy it when it was out. In fact, check out this list of delisted games: https://delistedgames.com/all-games/

 

A *lot* of those are games that, if you didn't already buy them, you have no way at all to now. And while Sturgeon's Law applies to them too, that's a long list, and even 10% of it is a shame to lose.

 

in cases like after burner climax, you have to wait until someone emulates it, like this:

 

later

-1

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I like that port, too. So many other versions attempt to overcomplicate the controls. The Sunsoft NES version nails it, so playable. I have a cartridge of it somewhere, but it seems silly to have a hunk of plastic to encase 32K of data.

 

I sometimes wonder if people talk past each other because they perceive things in different ways. It's entirely possible I've got more cartridges than you ... I choose to keep the stuff I like, too. I think ROM files are even more durable, especially those that don't rely on someone else (a digital store, etc) for preservation.

 

I get alerts from the GameDeals group on Reddit and it seems like there are daily deals on physical releases, something that doesn't interest me in the least, but lots of people must be into them.

 

Just got back from MicroCenter, where I got some flash memory for various projects. 32GB for $5.99 makes more sense than the $25 I paid for my 32K NES Spy Hunter cartridge when it was new.

 

Perhaps there was a misunderstanding.

 

Available time to play seems to be decreasing, even as choice and volume goes up, too. The top 20 of any PC Gamer list should be enough for any lifetime. It's only because we're wired to collect and like new stuff that we want more, I guess.

 

The other side of the digital transformation (besides the entire classic oeuvre being available as 'illegal' ROMs) is how games change and evolve now. I think the days of "buy a box with a finished, unchanging game" is becoming a strange concept. Yeah, unfinished stuff comes out and gets patched later, but that's not what I mean.

 

It's how lots of things really are "services" that grow and change and get better the more people play them. Fortnite is a great example of that, they add things and change stuff all the time, events come and go, and it's more of a platform than a single volume as we once knew games.

 

I know that's not for everyone, especially oldsters like us, but it makes a lot of sense to me. It's closer to the "arcade" world of 1980s kids, where gaming was social and there was always something new on rotation. We didn't feel the need to own everything we touched, and it was a treat, an exception rather than the rule to have a kickass home game that held our interest.

 

I have Afterburner Climax on at least 1 platform (can't remember if I bought it on PS3, Xbox 360, or both -- probably on a sale) and I am slightly ashamed to say I never really played it. There was an iPhone version too. Maybe they can bring it back for "Sega Forever" which isn't really forever, just like us mere mortals.

 

Nobody was asking us to buy the arcade machine though. It was a .25 to play per game and there was no illusion about what you were doing. Its kind of a like a juke box in that you are paying to hear the song/play the game without any other layout.

 

I wouldn't be so sure about the digital files. Things are very likely to change and we may have no way to read the files, though that may be a bit exaggerated. OTOH, try getting a paper card or 8" floppy read! Obviously having them backed up is a great thing and the media they were originally on probably won't last forever. It's turning out that diskettes have a far shorter life than ROMS.

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Have we really ever left it? There has been a hard fight against it though that pushed it as far back as dedicated handheld devices only up until recent. Even Sony with their hand in optical as it is tried to force the death of handheld cartridge style media with their failed UMD format, and then look what Vita did -- mini cartridges (cards.) Nintendo never left it sticking to the format and just going smaller with the DS and 3DS. And finally depending your views on Switch have taken console gaming back to using physical cartridge (card) media too for a primary tv capable format.

 

Carts got kicked in the teeth fairly hard as the chips got expensive and the dragging slow can't save to it optical discs laugh at them costing into the pennies on the lower era into the few dollars or more on the modern high end this generation. It is true that the chip prices have dropped, and continue, but they're also not in parity yet with optical. As it stands now an 8GB Switch card is like a big density ps4 disc in price parity to the developer having the games flashed to the format, but those big juicy 32 and 64GB Switch games are notably enough over that optical price some puss out and cowardly split games up into fake physical requiring primary data as a download still, and in other cases they just don't bother as Nintendo hasn't released the 64GB format as it's to them too costly to bother trying to evade the media dickery of the 'switch tax' where they cost more.

 

There is a push for real media as more get their head out of their nether regions and realize the control and rights that were being stripped, but in no way enough are waking up they're a majority. Yet the push does grow it's why we're seeing more and more of the truly successful download games getting delayed later full pressing release of their games and add-ons on the Switch and PS4 for a more than fair price. Go back a generation, it was almost unheard of. Duck Tales Remastered was like the punch in the face that showed physical is well desired as it sold solidly on the various formats.

 

So no I wouldn't like a return to it, it never left. It was diminished but it is in various ways as the last few years have gone into reasserting itself. Will that last, no idea, but I'd think at least if Nintendo has any say in it, it will. They appear to have realized that mobile is king, but TV shouldn't be neglected, and optical on the go is just damned stupid seeing the problems UMD had. They'll stick with their memory chip based mini game cartridges and they'll grow them as needed to keep up as time rolls on.

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Accepting an age of download-only games implies accepting a world where video games are purely disposable and forgettable toy products.

 

Looking at the state of AAA games these days, I'd say we're already there. Buy a pretty game that hopefully doesn't crash, spend shitloads of money on it with DLC/microtransactions/etc then dump it when the next pretty bobble comes along that does mostly the same thing. Rinse/Repeat.

 

Still, it's not like you HAVE to accept a download-only game era just because the industry's stopped innovating in any meaningful way. For me, when we get to that truly download-only era I'll just not be picking up any new console. Will I still game on steam? Probably, but good luck on the publishers getting more than 20 bucks out of me on there. Luckily I got a lot of games on cart to go back and play (So in a small sense perhaps I'm hoping for this era to start. :P) although to be honest this year my gaming has been maybe 80% playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3 on the genesis. I think I'll get along just fine ignoring modern gaming eventually.

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"I think I'll get along just fine ignoring modern gaming eventually."

 

With all the variety and choice out there, this is super easy to do. I know there are vast areas of modern gaming that hold zero appeal to me -- look at anything relating to esports for example, or the top things on Twitch, it's a whole other universe. Twitch itself is bizarre to this old person, who wants to WATCH some stranger play video games? At the same time that gaming is bigger than ever before, there's still a massive chunk of people who won't get into the hobby at any level, not even Words with Friends or Candy Crush.

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I used to prefer physical media, but Amazon/Netflix, Steam and digital-downloads on my console have spoiled me.

Perhaps if I was better at reselling my old things, I'd feel differently.

 

I do mourn for books, though, largely because digital editions can be easily altered or outright deleted. OTOH, I don't look forward to moving or selling the hundreds of books at my mother's house one day.

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"I think I'll get along just fine ignoring modern gaming eventually."

 

With all the variety and choice out there, this is super easy to do. I know there are vast areas of modern gaming that hold zero appeal to me -- look at anything relating to esports for example, or the top things on Twitch, it's a whole other universe. Twitch itself is bizarre to this old person, who wants to WATCH some stranger play video games? At the same time that gaming is bigger than ever before, there's still a massive chunk of people who won't get into the hobby at any level, not even Words with Friends or Candy Crush.

 

Don't forget the attacks on gamers by the games companies and the games media. There's been a thing with the latest WW2 game where it's billed as historically accurate and of course, completely is NOT accurate in any sense. If you complain about it, they will block you and call you names. The freaks have taken over important parts of the industry. Get ready for a Muslim tanny differently-abled Batman!

 

This fits right in with the digital download stuff. Remember, the customer is always wrong and an ist of some sort!

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Don't forget the attacks on gamers by the games companies and the games media. There's been a thing with the latest WW2 game where it's billed as historically accurate and of course, completely is NOT accurate in any sense. If you complain about it, they will block you and call you names. The freaks have taken over important parts of the industry. Get ready for a Muslim tanny differently-abled Batman!

 

This fits right in with the digital download stuff. Remember, the customer is always wrong and an ist of some sort!

Wow. If you see attempts at fantasy, creativity and inclusion as "attacks," maybe a look in the mirror is in order. I think I know the game you're talking about (female commando with a bionic arm, right?) and don't recall anyone claiming it was "historically accurate." Might want to pen some nasty letters to the EA about Star Wars, too. There aren't sounds in space and faster than lightspeed travel is likely to be physically impossible. Next thing you know, they'll be putting girls in those movies, too.

 

Perhaps the cartridge version of that WW2 game will be more your speed when it comes out.

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I wouldn't be so sure about the digital files. Things are very likely to change and we may have no way to read the files, though that may be a bit exaggerated. OTOH, try getting a paper card or 8" floppy read! Obviously having them backed up is a great thing and the media they were originally on probably won't last forever. It's turning out that diskettes have a far shorter life than ROMS.

 

That's a very real concern. I've migrated my Apple II and early PC stuff from the 70's and 80's methodically and carefully over the years.

 

At one time my important material resided on CD-R/W, Zip-100 disks, and even a couple of IEEE-1394 FireWire drives. Eventually I settled on USB drives. They're everywhere today in both solid state and mechanical formats.

 

When they fall out of favor, and someday they will, I will migrate to the next big thing, whatever it may be. They will not all of a sudden disappear overnite. There will be window of time, and for USB disks it will likely be several years, perhaps even a decade.

 

It's not just storage though, the hardware to run those programs will need to also remain in existence. This is where emulation and virtualization comes in. We're in pretty good shape regarding that, too.

 

 

As I get older, I'm more into experiences and less into owning stuff. "Disposable and forgettable" describes the vast majority of physical media I've owned in my long life. I'm fine to let it go.

 

Absolutely right. I no longer need a wall of cartridges, nor do I want one. Sure it looks nice, but I'm happy to let others baggie-chase it all. As long as I can play the games I grew up with, and Doom, and some new titles on occasion I'm good to go.

 

 

"I think I'll get along just fine ignoring modern gaming eventually."

 

With all the variety and choice out there, this is super easy to do. I know there are vast areas of modern gaming that hold zero appeal to me -- look at anything relating to esports for example, or the top things on Twitch, it's a whole other universe. Twitch itself is bizarre to this old person, who wants to WATCH some stranger play video games? At the same time that gaming is bigger than ever before, there's still a massive chunk of people who won't get into the hobby at any level, not even Words with Friends or Candy Crush.

 

I like to stay abreast of what's happening in the modern gaming world, and partake in it occasionally. But not with the gotta-get-it-all gusto or any of that. There's too much other stuff to enjoy too. Watching others play games is just as boring as most professional sports. Totally non-interactive and just, so, boring. Give me something I can DO!

 

 

No. I don't have room anymore.

 

I have the room and all that, it's just so time consuming to display and clean and manage all of it while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment. And eventually if I didn't limit myself I WOULD run out of room.

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