Jiggle this cartridge article to make it load

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.


There is nothing quite as satisfying as inserting a cartridge into a console and listening to that clicking sound.

The cartridge itself is an afterthought when it comes to modern gaming. Most of today's home consoles utilize DVDs, Blu-rays, or increasingly popular digital downloads.

With the advent of disc-based media, carts slowly lost ground. Packing a game into a tiny, plastic package was difficult. As any Nintendo 64 fan can tell you, side effects like blurry textures and muddy sound were inevitable. Classics such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day were exceptions, and they stood as technological feats.

Limitations aside, the cartridge signifies something larger: the unmistakable representation of a video game.


Anyone can look at the physical copy of a Sega Genesis title and immediately know its purpose. The shape is unique — one that wouldn't fit into a DVD player or USB slot.

Carts are meant for one piece of equipment: a game console.

I feel that discs don't have that characteristic form factor. Compare the bottom of an Xbox 360 DVD to a movie DVD, and they are exactly the same. The only thing that separates the two is the label printed on the top.

Is this a game or movie? Your guess is as good as mine.

Discs are easier to produce and reproduce. Perhaps gaming's shift in media was necessary in order to enter the entertainment mainstream. The industry has thrived since it made the move.

But sometimes I wish that inserting a video game into a modern console had at least an ounce of that clunky feel. Feeding an ultra-slick disc tray isn't the same.

Maybe I’m just old-school.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat