Video game tapes have shrunk a bit over the past 30 years.
To save the battery life in its upcoming Switch console, Nintendo is not using spinning discs like Blu-rays. Instead, the hybrid handheld/home system will use a card-style medium similar to what the publisher used on the 3DS.
During a livestream from a media event in New York City today, Nintendo of America employees provided fans with a close-up view of what the company is calling Switch game cards.
Here’s a look at the back and front of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Switch.
And these are game cards — not cartridges, which is what Nintendo used for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64. That’s an important distinction that I wrote about previously.
For one, these game cards are not that much more expensive to make than a Blu-ray disc, and they don’t take much longer to print. At the same time, these cards can also store around as much data as a standard (non-dual layer) Blu-ray, but smaller games can use less metal. And that will save publishers money when they only need about 8GB instead of 25GB.
For Nintendo, whose typical game was no more than 10GB on Wii U, that is likely one of the reasons it likes this media type.