Nintendo Switch runs games on cartridges

Switch games are roughly the size of 3DS cards.

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As shown during its reveal trailer this morning, Nintendo's Switch console will run on cartridges instead of optical media.

These aren't your papa's bulky Nintendo 64 carts, though. Switch carts are roughly the size of Nintendo 3DS game cards, and are inserted into a slot at the top of the tablet-like device. This is in line with months of rumors indicating that Nintendo would leave Blu-Ray and DVD storage media behind in favor of cartridges.

Nintendo Switch is a console/handheld hybrid that runs on a tailor-made NVIDIA Tegra processor and will launch next March. For more info, check out Shacknews' comprehensive summary of today's unveiling.

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  • reply
    October 20, 2016 7:40 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Nintendo Switch runs games on cartridges

    • reply
      October 20, 2016 8:01 AM

      Note the cooling ports in the image too. That suggests to me that it's going to run warm at the least.

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        October 20, 2016 9:25 AM

        I think you may be reading too much into non-final and largely indistinct images.

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          October 20, 2016 9:40 AM

          Non final? No these are final. You think they haven't finalized the hardware and will be able to produce enough units before March?

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            October 20, 2016 10:40 AM

            There could still be some changes. The DS shell was changed between it's E3 2004 reveal and Nov 2004 release.

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            October 20, 2016 11:50 AM

            It wouldn't be unprecedented, no. But mostly I mean you haven't seen enough clear images of the device from all angles to necessarily judge what you're seeing, let alone draw concerns about heat from them.

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        October 20, 2016 9:43 AM

        Electronic device has cooling ports and has the possiblity of running warm! Film at Eleven!

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        October 20, 2016 1:47 PM

        My original shield (clamshell) had active cooling, not really a problem

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          October 20, 2016 1:52 PM

          Different demographic though. While there weren't kids in the teaser, I still maintain Nintendo system will skew to a much younger demographic than Sony & MS.

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            October 20, 2016 2:44 PM

            You know something you don't see in the 3 minute video? Any kids.

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              October 20, 2016 3:10 PM

              Ya, and I said that. In multiple posts.

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            October 20, 2016 3:23 PM

            How does the addition of children affect device cooling?

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              October 20, 2016 3:49 PM

              Parents will freak if a device their kid is using get too warm. I'd say doubly so after the Note 7 stuff now.

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      October 20, 2016 8:08 AM

      it would be neat if they were really SD sticks or something, so you could download games on your computer and then put them on a memory card and transfer them to the console as needed.

      However, I can see the problems with that option.

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        October 20, 2016 9:26 AM

        That would be a terrible user flow.

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          October 20, 2016 11:35 AM

          And yet that's basically what Nintendo recommends if you want to move stuff from one 3DS to another one.

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            October 20, 2016 12:06 PM

            That's a "do this one time when you get a new device" thing, which is still fucking retarded, but it's not a common thing to ask users to do.

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      October 20, 2016 9:20 AM

      feels weird calling what's essentially an SD card cartridges

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        October 20, 2016 9:22 AM

        N64 games ran off ssd

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          October 20, 2016 1:19 PM

          Yeah, I always loaded into Mario 64 first so did everybody else

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        October 20, 2016 9:26 AM

        It's not an SD card, though I imagine they will also have a storage solution like that given the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS all have SD support.

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      October 20, 2016 9:25 AM

      Hopefully there's some internal storage too. Carrying around cartridges on a mobile device is pretty crappy.

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        October 20, 2016 11:22 AM

        Hell even at home i don't want need to physically swap media to play a different game.

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        October 20, 2016 11:44 AM

        the thing will probably have 32GB on it too and it's not like you're going to dangle a USB hard drive from it while you carry it around. man, physical purchases suck

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        October 20, 2016 11:55 AM

        Hopefully you can expand it with large as cards like the 3ds.

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          October 20, 2016 1:20 PM

          128GB microSD at the very least, and even that probably won't be enough

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      October 20, 2016 10:50 AM

      My first reaction was "man, they're going to limit how big games can be that way" until I realized that DVDs are like 5-8 GB and 16 GB SD cards are dirt cheap.

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        October 20, 2016 11:32 AM

        That was my response as well. 20 years ago it would have seemed like a step back, but now that they can fit an entire PS4/XBO-sized game on that little card....man, it'll be interesting.

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        October 20, 2016 11:59 AM

        128gb wholesale/direct from manufacturer would even be affordable if they mass produce.

      • DM7
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        October 20, 2016 1:11 PM

        So games will be cheaper right? :D

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        October 20, 2016 1:19 PM

        Even 128GB cards are dirt cheap. 32GB ROMs are pennies for Nintendo at the volume they'll produce

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      October 20, 2016 11:41 AM

      I wish they would Switch (lol get it!) the positions of the a/b/x/y buttons. I know they are the originators of that the positioning but I'm so used to the ps4/xbox layout on controllers now.

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        October 20, 2016 11:48 AM

        I'm a little bummed about them moving the right analog under the buttons. I prefer them to be symmetrical near the top similar to Wii U gamepad & pro controller. Based on the screenshots it looks really low on the Switch controller, could see it cramping up hands but I guess I'll reserve judgement and give them benefit of the doubt.

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          October 20, 2016 11:52 AM

          Also I'll be surprised if they remove it, but if the new Switch controllers don't have the same gyro controllers as the Wii U controller I will be super disappointed. Splatoon 2 would never be the same.

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            October 20, 2016 1:14 PM

            No gimmicks are the best. No touch no motion. Just normal ass controller buttons.

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              October 20, 2016 1:18 PM

              Sounds like someone hasn't played Splatoon with the gyro controls. It makes the game so much more enjoyable than relying on the super slow analog sticks for precise and quick aiming.

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                October 20, 2016 1:21 PM

                I never even bought it. I don't play much MP. Also I hate motion controls. I refused to play games based on them. If I have the option to use regular I will play.

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                  October 20, 2016 1:27 PM

                  You aren't just waving the controller all over the place like a wiimote. You still use the traditional analog sticks, but have the gyro for fine-tuning or quick flick shots when needed. It takes some getting used to (I originally didn't like it), but feels SO good once it becomes second nature.

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                    October 20, 2016 2:27 PM

                    Ok. I was under the impression it controlled like Red Steel on the Wii.

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                  October 20, 2016 1:51 PM

                  Splatoon is the only console shooter that had anything close to the speed and accuracy of mouse and keyboard aiming, and it was thanks to the gyros.

                  Gyros are the next best thing to M+K, thumbsticks are the devil.

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                    October 20, 2016 2:08 PM

                    Huh. I may try it if I can get it for sub $20. I thought it was like playing Red Steel on the Wii

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                      October 20, 2016 2:34 PM

                      Oh no way dude, its super precise. Also a fantastic game!

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                        October 20, 2016 2:37 PM

                        Gyros have also come a longass way since Red Steel ten years ago

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                October 20, 2016 1:25 PM

                I played Splatoon with the gyro controls, which were nice, but their analog stick controls were fucking terrible, and had nintendo bothered to actually work on those then the sticks would be just as useful as the gyro.

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                  October 20, 2016 1:30 PM

                  Yeah I agree that the normal analog controls felt off somehow. However I strongly disagree that they would be the same as you wouldn't be able to pull off quick mouse-flick type shots with the charger or nades, due to the slow and limited range of movement with an analog stick.

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          October 20, 2016 1:31 PM

          I know what you mean, but I think they did that so when the two half controllers are used individually for local multiplayer while mobile, they are symmetrical

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            October 20, 2016 2:02 PM

            yeah that makes sense.

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            October 20, 2016 3:00 PM

            Makes me wonder if there could be optional alternate controls for sale.

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      October 20, 2016 1:09 PM

      Carts are fantastic. I hope the memory is just an SD card like the Wii.

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      October 20, 2016 2:38 PM

      The whole concept of carts being able to have entire new circuitry in it was always so cool, even though it wasn't used much and made carts really expensive.
      Carts with GPUs, more memory, motion sensors, input devices!!! (arkanoid for GBSP lol), light sensors etc.

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        October 20, 2016 3:33 PM

        I remember for an engineering project at school, me and my teammate needed a gyroscope, and the cheapest way to get one was to buy a used GBA cart for something that had one in it, off of ebay, and just yank it out.

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          October 20, 2016 4:41 PM

          Hah it was probably a copy of Warioware: TWERPED TWIZZLE Twisted!