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The cart limitations of the Switch is really starting to hurt the console.

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - The cart limitations of the Switch is really starting to hurt the console.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
Mr Puggsly said:

Even if optical discs are getting more expensive to produce, they're still significantly cheaper than a Switch cart. The optical discs are also being used by multiple devices including movies, they aren't dependent on a single console.

I don't see a scenario where carts are cheaper to produce than discs, unless we move away from optical discs entirely. While carts that only hold 4-8GB are useless for most modern games. I anticipate next gen will use both Bluray and Ultra HD Bluray discs, Xbox consoles already use UHD drives so its cheap at this point.

I feel like the compromise developers should make is Switch carts that have no game data on them, but give you access to a game. That way you technically own a game by having the cart and can sell it, trade it, etc. In my mind that's much better than a box with a download code.

Yeah, but their usage is vaning fast in all their usage scenarios, hence why it's getting more expensive. Also, optical discs ain't interchangeable in production, you need specific presses for specific discs, a Blu-Ray press can't make CDs or DVDs, at least not out of the blue. Discs very much gain from mass production, because the machines to press the discs ain't cheap, and slower production raises costs very fast for them. The problem is that there are so many producers slowing each other down as the demand vanes.

For AAA games, 4-8GB discs are useless, I agree. But for Indies or Retro game collections, they do suffice most of the time. And yeah, we are moving more and more away from discs. Try finding a laptop with an optical drive these days, it's getting more and more difficult. Steaming and digital formats are taking over, and optical discs are more and more becoming a niche product. I'll have to dig to find the source, but afair the sales of Blu-ray discs is close to the one of DVDs in 2000 when VHS tapes where still ruling the market. The economy of scale which is making the optical discs so cheap less and less applies to them.

It won't affect the PS4/XBO anymore, though. But it could affect their successors. Getting more than 100GB on an optical disc is proving to become impractical (UV lasers get stopped by the slightest dust particles, hence why a blue laser is the practical limit for end-users), but with increasingly bigger textures and game worlds, that won't be enough for long anymore.

By contrast, cartridges don't face such a brick wall just yet. Expect them to catch up more and more over the next couple years. I think by end of this year, it won't make much of a price difference between a 25GB Blu-Ray disc and a 16GB cartridge, with the 32GB following close behind.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone would come up with a new standard next to SD cards (since Secure Digital isn't anywhere near secure) with a similar size, but much more safety. If they could get the Film Industry on board (which will be looking for a medium for 8K movies in the future for sure), then this could quickly replace the optical discs in general usage.

I'm really not sure what your point is given the platform primarily suffering from an expensive storage medium is Switch. Sometimes Switch ports are more expensive, developers avoid using large carts and publishers are clearly avoiding physical releases. I agree we're moving away from optical discs, but they're still cheaper to produce than Switch carts. In the past platforms like Dreamcast, Gamecube and PSP used unique discs which shows mass production may not be that crucial. I believe optical discs are just inherently cheaper to produce when compared to memory carts that hold a significant amount of storage.

I anticipate the 100GB discs will be used in the 9th gen consoles and will be plenty of storage space for most games. It would help if more games split online and offline content, that way a disc just needs to hold the offline stuff. Maybe by the 10th gen there will be dirt cheap carts that hold a massive amount of storage. Until then though, discs are still the cheap route.



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Mr Puggsly said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

Yeah, but their usage is vaning fast in all their usage scenarios, hence why it's getting more expensive. Also, optical discs ain't interchangeable in production, you need specific presses for specific discs, a Blu-Ray press can't make CDs or DVDs, at least not out of the blue. Discs very much gain from mass production, because the machines to press the discs ain't cheap, and slower production raises costs very fast for them. The problem is that there are so many producers slowing each other down as the demand vanes.

For AAA games, 4-8GB discs are useless, I agree. But for Indies or Retro game collections, they do suffice most of the time. And yeah, we are moving more and more away from discs. Try finding a laptop with an optical drive these days, it's getting more and more difficult. Steaming and digital formats are taking over, and optical discs are more and more becoming a niche product. I'll have to dig to find the source, but afair the sales of Blu-ray discs is close to the one of DVDs in 2000 when VHS tapes where still ruling the market. The economy of scale which is making the optical discs so cheap less and less applies to them.

It won't affect the PS4/XBO anymore, though. But it could affect their successors. Getting more than 100GB on an optical disc is proving to become impractical (UV lasers get stopped by the slightest dust particles, hence why a blue laser is the practical limit for end-users), but with increasingly bigger textures and game worlds, that won't be enough for long anymore.

By contrast, cartridges don't face such a brick wall just yet. Expect them to catch up more and more over the next couple years. I think by end of this year, it won't make much of a price difference between a 25GB Blu-Ray disc and a 16GB cartridge, with the 32GB following close behind.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone would come up with a new standard next to SD cards (since Secure Digital isn't anywhere near secure) with a similar size, but much more safety. If they could get the Film Industry on board (which will be looking for a medium for 8K movies in the future for sure), then this could quickly replace the optical discs in general usage.

I'm really not sure what your point is given the platform primarily suffering from an expensive storage medium is Switch. Sometimes Switch ports are more expensive, developers avoid using large carts and publishers are clearly avoiding physical releases. I agree we're moving away from optical discs, but they're still cheaper to produce than Switch carts. In the past platforms like Dreamcast, Gamecube and PSP used unique discs which shows mass production may not be that crucial. I believe optical discs are just inherently cheaper to produce when compared to memory carts that hold a significant amount of storage.

I anticipate the 100GB discs will be used in the 9th gen consoles and will be plenty of storage space for most games. It would help if more games split online and offline content, that way a disc just needs to hold the offline stuff. Maybe by the 10th gen there will be dirt cheap carts that hold a massive amount of storage. Until then though, discs are still the cheap route.

My points are:

1. That cartridges like on the Switch are getting cheaper, while optical discs are getting more expensive, and given enough time cartridges will catch up. This won't be a problem for PS4/XBO, but could become one for PS5/Scarlet if thay want to use optical discs.

2. The thread is about cartridge limitations, and I'm pointing out that those are getting less over time. While it's certainly true right now, in a couple years the 32GB cartridges will cost as much as the 8GB do right now, with 48 and 64GB ready for usage.

Oh, and plenty of storage? The small RAM is limiting the size of textures right now on consoles. With 16 or even more Gigabyte of unified RAM they can start putting high-res textures on the discs, possibly filling them up quickly, just look up big texture packs can be. Just to compare, Anthem is 36GB on Xbox ONE but 51GB on PC, mostly due to the bigger textures. And that's despite the game being so empty, imagine how big the game will be in a year or so when most features will finally be in the game.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I'm really not sure what your point is given the platform primarily suffering from an expensive storage medium is Switch. Sometimes Switch ports are more expensive, developers avoid using large carts and publishers are clearly avoiding physical releases. I agree we're moving away from optical discs, but they're still cheaper to produce than Switch carts. In the past platforms like Dreamcast, Gamecube and PSP used unique discs which shows mass production may not be that crucial. I believe optical discs are just inherently cheaper to produce when compared to memory carts that hold a significant amount of storage.

I anticipate the 100GB discs will be used in the 9th gen consoles and will be plenty of storage space for most games. It would help if more games split online and offline content, that way a disc just needs to hold the offline stuff. Maybe by the 10th gen there will be dirt cheap carts that hold a massive amount of storage. Until then though, discs are still the cheap route.

My points are:

1. That cartridges like on the Switch are getting cheaper, while optical discs are getting more expensive, and given enough time cartridges will catch up. This won't be a problem for PS4/XBO, but could become one for PS5/Scarlet if thay want to use optical discs.

2. The thread is about cartridge limitations, and I'm pointing out that those are getting less over time. While it's certainly true right now, in a couple years the 32GB cartridges will cost as much as the 8GB do right now, with 48 and 64GB ready for usage.

Oh, and plenty of storage? The small RAM is limiting the size of textures right now on consoles. With 16 or even more Gigabyte of unified RAM they can start putting high-res textures on the discs, possibly filling them up quickly, just look up big texture packs can be. Just to compare, Anthem is 36GB on Xbox ONE but 51GB on PC, mostly due to the bigger textures. And that's despite the game being so empty, imagine how big the game will be in a year or so when most features will finally be in the game.

1. I don't disagree, but the cost disparity between a disc and memory cart (with a lot of space) is still pretty significant. I believe that will still be the case in the 9th gen or much of it.

2. Carts are still a step behind in storage space. I mean Switch is boasting about 64GB carts that will rarely be used while 9th gen discs will likely hold 100GB. Maybe in the 10th gen carts with 128-512GB will be cheap and viable.

Again, I think 100GB is fine for most games. Especially if more games just put offline content on the disc. Anthem is an online game only, the disc is basically just access to the game. At this point all the data on the Anthem disc could be useless. Same goes for Destiny 1 and 2, Sea of Thieves and other online games.



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Mr Puggsly said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

My points are:

1. That cartridges like on the Switch are getting cheaper, while optical discs are getting more expensive, and given enough time cartridges will catch up. This won't be a problem for PS4/XBO, but could become one for PS5/Scarlet if thay want to use optical discs.

2. The thread is about cartridge limitations, and I'm pointing out that those are getting less over time. While it's certainly true right now, in a couple years the 32GB cartridges will cost as much as the 8GB do right now, with 48 and 64GB ready for usage.

Oh, and plenty of storage? The small RAM is limiting the size of textures right now on consoles. With 16 or even more Gigabyte of unified RAM they can start putting high-res textures on the discs, possibly filling them up quickly, just look up big texture packs can be. Just to compare, Anthem is 36GB on Xbox ONE but 51GB on PC, mostly due to the bigger textures. And that's despite the game being so empty, imagine how big the game will be in a year or so when most features will finally be in the game.

1. I don't disagree, but the cost disparity between a disc and memory cart (with a lot of space) is still pretty significant. I believe that will still be the case in the 9th gen or much of it.

2. Carts are still a step behind in storage space. I mean Switch is boasting about 64GB carts that will rarely be used while 9th gen discs will likely hold 100GB. Maybe in the 10th gen carts with 128-512GB will be cheap and viable.

Again, I think 100GB is fine for most games. Especially if more games just put offline content on the disc. Anthem is an online game only, the disc is basically just access to the game. At this point all the data on the Anthem disc could be useless. Same goes for Destiny 1 and 2, Sea of Thieves and other online games.

Anthem and the other games you mentioned are online only games, but all the textures, models and so on need to be installed and calculated from the console. If it would just be to access the game, then you would just stream the game, which is another thing entirely.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
Mr Puggsly said:

1. I don't disagree, but the cost disparity between a disc and memory cart (with a lot of space) is still pretty significant. I believe that will still be the case in the 9th gen or much of it.

2. Carts are still a step behind in storage space. I mean Switch is boasting about 64GB carts that will rarely be used while 9th gen discs will likely hold 100GB. Maybe in the 10th gen carts with 128-512GB will be cheap and viable.

Again, I think 100GB is fine for most games. Especially if more games just put offline content on the disc. Anthem is an online game only, the disc is basically just access to the game. At this point all the data on the Anthem disc could be useless. Same goes for Destiny 1 and 2, Sea of Thieves and other online games.

Anthem and the other games you mentioned are online only games, but all the textures, models and so on need to be installed and calculated from the console. If it would just be to access the game, then you would just stream the game, which is another thing entirely.

I'm suggesting the updates can sometimes replace all the data entirely, textures and assets included. Like Halo:MCC had a 80+GB patch, that's clearly the entire game being replaced. I think MK11 on Switch is gonna have 22GB patch at launch, that's probably the entire game as well.

When an online only game has updates that replaces all the content or most of it, the disc is literally just access to the game. Destiny and Elder Scrolls Online comes to mind for doing that.



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What really drives me nuts is how games across all three consoles are regulary coming with great big day one downloads or tons of patches.that suck up storage and prove the physical product isn’t worth aught. I miss the days of buying a whole game and not having to worry that it will be useless or half of what it was in a decade.



couchmonkey said:
What really drives me nuts is how games across all three consoles are regulary coming with great big day one downloads or tons of patches.that suck up storage and prove the physical product isnt worth aught. I miss the days of buying a whole game and not having to worry that it will be useless or half of what it was in a decade.

As soon as PCs began running games from the harddrive, regularly, back in the 90s, it was inevitable that it was going to happen on console. We're in the last generation or two of separate media now. To be honest, it doesn't bother me one bit - the last game I bought on separate media was probably on the Wii or one of the early 3DS games. As it stands, separate media is just a form of advertisement on retail shelves - and retail space is dying too.

I'll be happy to say goodbye to all that unnecessary extra plastic. Pretty soon people will stop pretending like it actually means something. As far as mobile and PC goes, it's been dropped completely, and no one has looked back... except for a laugh at how silly some of the obsolete media are... Of course, it won't go away completely, I am mostly talking about regular people: there will always be hipsters who still want to play vinyl records and NES cartridges they have to blow on.



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