Gaming Industry Moving Back to Cartridges

Published on January 25, 2019

Cartridges were abandoned due to their high manufacturing cost and space restrictions. Although new technologies are immensely benefiting gaming industries, many gamers are going back to the old cartridge system.

Cartridges refer to games that are encoded on ROM chips, and are enclosed in plastic cases. Cartridges offered several advantages over other game formats. Games loaded in no time and the plastic case was damage-resistant.

Using ROM cartridges to store software is highly beneficial over other storage methods, such as optical media and floppy disks. The stored software in ROM can be interpreted like normal memory. This is because the ROM system of normal address space has memory mapped in the cartridge. The cartridge system permits immediate loading time and execution of code as transfer of data in the system does not have to be from a slower medium.

With the use of cartridges, memory can be preserved efficiently by using less RAM as the software works directly from ROM. One more advantage of ROM cartridge is that unlike optical media that comprises of a standard size, ROM cartridge can be made in numerous sizes.

This allows it to be fit for small devices, such as handheld game systems. Although ROM cartridges can get damaged as well, usually they are more damage resistant and stout than optical media. It is normal for cartridges to get dusty and dirty and this can cause issues. Cleaning these cartridge contacts with the use of isopropyl alcohol solution can get rid of this problem.

ROM cartridges have a few disadvantages too. They have less space than many other media storage devices. They are generally much more expensive to measure in comparison to other discs storage accessories. However, ROM cartridges are easier to use by gaming companies and users. For that reason, we see many of today’s gaming companies showing an interest to revive cartridges.

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