When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / Plug in Baby: Nintendo NX might ditch discs, go back to cartridges

Plug in Baby: Nintendo NX might ditch discs, go back to cartridges

But will blowing on them actually make a difference?

What is it with Nintendo and wacky ideas that totally fly in the face of the rest of the gaming world?

Rumours have been flying about the Nintendo NX ever since the company confirmed it was working on a new console, but the latest leak either proves the big wigs in charge have completely lost it – or they’re absolute geniuses.

Apparently, the NX won’t use any kind of optical disc for its games. Instead, in a delightfully retro callback to Nintendo’s 16-bit glory days, it’ll use cartridges instead.

Where’s the evidence? Long-time Nintendo partner Macronix, the chip-maker responsible for 3DS cartridges, said it was expecting a big profits jump after March 2017. Exactly the same time that the NX is due to land. 

It’s not the first time we’ve heard this rumour either. Nintendo filed a patent for cartridge-based games earlier this year.

Going back to cartridges might sound mad, seeing how AAA PS4 and Xbox One games struggle to fit on 50GB Blu-ray discs, but in a twisted way it might make sense.

32GB microSD cards cost less than a tenner now, and seeing how Nintendo’s fan base is smaller than either Microsoft or Sony’s, it wouldn’t need to bankrupt itself by making millions of cartridges.

It also adds fuel to the theory that the NX will be a much smaller console than either of its rivals. Without a disc drive, it could potentially be used on the move as well as hooked up to your living room TV.

We won’t know for sure what Nintendo has in store for a while: it’s only planning on showing off the upcoming Zelda game at E3 next month.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming