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Hard-drive game cartridges

Use a 5GB hard drive as a game cartridge
  [vote for,

I miss the good old fashioned game cartridges- they were much more reliable than CDs, and if you rented one you were much less likely to get one that was damaged. Think about it- CD-based games can malfuntion just because they were scratched, where cartridges would survive anything short of chucking them into water or out the 2nd story window.

How about using a 5GB hard drive as a game cartridge? I know that they wouldn't be as durable as circuit-board-only cartridges, but it would most likely be more durable than a CD or DVD based game. DVDs can hold around 4 GB of data. So the games would be of the same "caliber" as current XBOX360/WII/PS3 games, and the extra 1GB would be set aside for saving games and such. With current technology, 5GB hard-drives would be dirt-cheap to make, and they would likely be about the size of an atari cartridge (it could definately be physically smaller than that, just look at laptop HDs, but miniturizing the drive while maintaining storage space would likely add to the cost of the cartridge)

I don't believe it would be as fragile as one might think- I used to have a hard drive based Ipod, and after a VERY long service life it finally gave up the ghost, but it wasn't even the hard drive that died- the buttons were screwed up, they had to be pressed 5 million times to get them to respond, but the hard drive was happy as a clam! also the overly-difficult-to-replace rechargeable batteries were not lasting very long any more.

I believe that it would still be feasable to have it just snap it into the cartridge slot, like the older game consoles used to do, and have it stick out 1/2 way to aid removal- or it could go all the way in like a VCR tape, but then it would need some sort of eject mechanism which would complicate the design of the console itself, not to mention having to have the connecters clamp on upon insertion.

The only forseeable problems would be-

1. while the console, itself, would be relatively simple compared to a CD based console, the cartridge would have all the mechanics of a hard-drive, which would be more prone to failure than a ROM cartridge- but less prone to accidental damage than a CD- the actual recording surface is inaccessable without opening the cartridge-which of course is a BIG risk of ruining the device if you don't know what you're doing, ESPECIALLY with hard drives

2. the connection speed between cartridge and console may be a problem, and a high speed connection would add to the overall cost of games/game machines

3. If the cartrigde got near a (strong) magnet, the game would be corrupted or erased-which may spark the creation of some kind of (overly expensive) service to have your cartridge reformatted and the game written back onto it

Dickcheney6, Aug 15 2008

Better idea. New_20game_20consol...20uses_20cartridges
[Dickcheney6, Aug 16 2008]


       Forget hard drives, too expensive, think CF or one of the other SD, MMC, xD, etc. CF is biund to be the cheapest and heck if you still want to use old tech, you can get hard drives in CF cards.   

       Doesn't matter, DVDs are pennies to make and they want you to scratch it, then you'll buy another and they make more money.
MisterQED, Aug 15 2008

       I figured that building hard drive that's "only" 5GB would cost less than making a cartridge that is made up of 4GB of ROM and a few MB of memory for saving games. I really need to start comparing the cost of different tech before writing ideas.   

       In that case, I'd say that the game companies should just go back to circuit-board cartridges- I mean, on the DS you can get games that are about the quality of N64 games, on cards about the size of an SD card! Imagine what you could (now) fit into a cartridge thats the size of an N64 cart- you could get PS2 graphics on it! (then again, the PS2 is now obsolete with the 360, the wii and the PS3)   

       This is one of my few ideas that hasn't fared so well...
Dickcheney6, Aug 16 2008

       My anno and link has been deleted. Well within your rights, but it lacks class.
normzone, Aug 16 2008

       It's the cost. A 5GB flash drive at wholesale is $20, and a hard drive version is twice that. A disc costs ten cents to manufacture, and any store employee can see what's wrong with it if returned "defective".   

       The latest game systems already have hard drives from which you can play games. But you need to buy that hard drive only once.
Amos Kito, Aug 16 2008

       (Edit): Sorry [Dickcheney] if i caused offence by this. Please don't take it personally.   


       One of the fifteen million billion ways that things were better in the old days was the existence of ROM chip-based cartridges. Bring them or something similar back, rather than yet more of these cruddy mechanical moving part based bollocky bollocky crapfests. Absolutely not, no.
nineteenthly, Aug 16 2008

       On the newer systems, you still USE the disk to play the games from- the hard drive is for game saves only.   

       Again, I did not know the cost of a 5gb hard drive. I thought it would be dirt cheap with todays technology- most HDs are much bigger nowadays. but a ROM cart would be a better idea. Lesson learned- when writing an idea based on your assumptions of what different tech costs these days, always look on the internet first to make sure you've got your facts straight.
Dickcheney6, Aug 16 2008


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