Memory Card?


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2013
So exactly why did the Gamecube need a memory card to store game data? Was it hard for the system to have preinstalled memory? I never exactly knew the reason why. I always lose my memory card so I don't even take out the card anymore.
Originally, all consoles saved game progress to cartridges: NES, Sega Master System, Game Boy, Game Gear, SNES. When PlayStation came out, Sony had to come up with a new saving solution since CD-ROMs were read-only. That solution was an external memory card, which was also used by Dreamcast, PS2, and GameCube. People weren't happy about having to buy another expensive accessory on top of the system price, but there was no way around that.

Microsoft changed the game completely by including a hard drive in the Xbox, which was ground-breaking and an awesome solution. Saving your game to the hard drive was hassle-free and saved people a lot of money in the long run.

As for flash memory (which is what Wii uses), it was still new technology at the time and very expensive. People were just starting to use USB thumb drives back then, and no one could even conceive putting flash inside a console in 2001.
The most I ever spent on a memory card was 16 bucks, and it was several thousand blocks, so it wasn't a big deal. I didn't mind having memory cards...
DK explained it all pretty well, but preinstalled memory is rather a new advance. Previously the memory - if there was any - was part of the game delivery system. Memory cards are the next step up to preinstalled memory - which is actually a pretty expensive investment overall. For the console creator anyway.

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