Cartridges or Disks?

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2015
Super Famicom
It's no secret that I'm big on retro gaming. Therefore I've got a huge collection of older games on cart. Since storage wasn't a prerequisite back in those days, cartridges were an optimal medium. As games evolved, the need for greater storage has pushed games onto optical disc. At least, that's the case for games that are still released physically.

I love both mediums but I still prefer cartridges, simply because there is no loading. Sometimes it's necessary to blow on the connection edge to remove dust but that's about as messy as things get. Optical discs can often be scratched if they are not taken care of properly. And of course, there's loading to deal with which takes some of the fun away.

Which is your favorite of the formats?
I like both, but cartridges look cooler.
I like discs better. Especially the modern blu ray discs that can hold gigabytes worth of data.
Yeah agreed, but like I said: The cartridges look so cool!
Right when disc were made available to play on the load times were painfully obvious. I did buy the Sega CD model 2. It had such a long load time. Mind you it was CDs not DVDs where the load times had gotten better. After that decade the PS1, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64 was on the scene and Nintendo still used cartridges. In games like Resident Evil the load times were horrendous and hindered the pace of the game. I wish they did a remix of it and give it a free flowing vibe to it. But Nintendo still had cartridges that had no load time, but came at a higher manufacturing price.

You can't compare the old cartridges to the new Blu Ray games. But given the era that the N64 was in, I'll take the cartridge based games.
The Sega Saturn was a console that had surprisingly quick load times. Far better than the rival PlayStation and a million times better than SNK's Neo Geo CD which was notoriously slow. Even during the 32-bit era, the N64 was a breath of fresh air as one didn't have to put up with load times and stupid CG cut-scenes. Cartridges are obviously not feasible for today's console generation so we're certainly not going back to that format. But I think they're great to collect for retro fans.
This is true and like someone pointed out they look nice so they're easy to collect. However, even in the N64 age I would still have to have preferred the disc based format simply because even then they had a lot more space and you could use multiple discs if needed.
I preferred cartridges back then, I suppose the biggest reason was you could save your game with no problem at all, even show a friend your progress at their house.
With discs you had to invest in memory cards that were small enough to be easily misplaced when you had more than a couple. And at some point struggle to lose your progress in a game so you could continue in another.

Something that sucks, though, is a cartridge running out of battery. My old Pokemon games have started to die in the last couple of years, and I dread the day that happens to my N64 collection.
Huh. I did not know they could die...o_O
Yeah, it happens with the Pokemon games and you have to replace the batteries within them. It's a huge problem with Gold/Silver and Ruby/Sapphire I think.

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