Check out this story.
I have seen other stories like it. Analog is making a comeback in many media forms. The story I linked to points to Nintendo’s Amiibos as an example of this, but this is incorrect. Nintendo sees Amiibos as easy cash. Having a bunch of Amiibos make you look ridiculous and hurt your social and romantic life.
What we want are cartridges.
Nintendo still makes cartridges for the 3DS.
I love cartridges, reader. I just love them. I love the GLORIOUS ARTWORK on the cartridge. I love how the cartridge feels in my hand. I love stacking the cartridges. Most important, I love the durability of the cartridge. If optical discs were durable, I’d love them too. No moving parts means it is more durable.
“But the costs, Malstrom! The costs!”
Non-cartridge media never won the war. PSP was supposed to ‘win’ because ‘cartridges are lame and belong in past’ yet DS whooped its ass. Why? No moving parts is good for a handheld. And it is not cartridges that are responsible for the 3DS doing poorly.
“But the N64! OMG, Malstrom!”
Third parties may not have liked the cartridges, but the consumers did. N64 sold well in North America with cartridges. “I hate the N64 because of cartridges!” said no one ever. In fact, cartridges is now considered a PLUS part of the N64 today.
Third parties whine all the time anyway. The point is, third parties are not on Nintendo hardware. If Nintendo’s home console went cartridges, it would greatly differentiate itself with the competitors. It would draw in many former Nintendo gamers (which exceed the current Nintendo gamers of today).
I believe the market would respond passionately well to a return to cartridges. There’s that word: passion. It is not enough to get customers. One must get passionate customers. There is nothing about Nintendo hardware today to be passionate about.
NES has passion with its hardware because it had the market to itself. NES hardware was a new generation telling Trip Hawkins that they didn’t want to play games on a computer.
SNES has passion because of the Great 16-bit Console War with Sega. Aside from that, no one really cares about the SNES hardware.
N64 had no real passion behind the hardware. If anything, it was the reverse. “Why N64 still using cartridges? Why N64 look like baby toy?”
Gamecube had anti-passion against it too. “Looks like a kid’s toy.”
Wii hardware had intense passion in it. Much of it was due to the Wii-mote. What it actually means was that the Wii-mote was giving players agency. Gamers do not care about companies having agency. Customers are selfish. They want to know about them! The Wii-mote had value to customers, therefore, it had value to third parties. It’s as simple as that.
Wii U has anti-passion in its hardware. The Gamepad scares people.
The NX needs to have reason for people to be passionate about the hardware as well as the software. As far as I know, the NX is going to be multiple boxes (handheld, home console, etc.) connected to Nintendo’s Online Empire.
PS4 and Xbox One have hardware passion through the graphics and shit like that. Nintendo isn’t going to compete on that level so they need something.
Cartridges would be so awesome. It would give me a reason to CARE about Nintendo hardware again. You know how amazing it would be if Nintendo made new cartridge versions of… say…. Super Mario Brothers? Do you know how expensive the old classic games are today?
“But Malstrom, you want this because you think retro prices are too high!”
No, the retro prices are indicating that people are still buying cartridges. People are STILL buying Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Link to the Past, and so on.
Nintendo should do some market research and ask if people would buy a home console that played cartridges. They’d be shocked at the passionate interest that would come their way.