How will Nintendo keep up in the portable market?

pr0pensity

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Is the the next Gameboy using cartridges? You could squeeze 1024MB comfortably on a chip, but will that cut it?
 

Martyr

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you can get alot on a little cartridge. and until we invent a hardy optical media, or something else, cartriges are where its at for small devices
 

Riddlinkidstoner

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Cartridges is something Nintendo is holding onto dearly with the Nintendo DS and honestly, its a good move. People these days don't want to have to worry about scratching or breaking a disk...cartridges are easy to take care of and still have a lot of room to push.

Its still unbelievable how well the Nintendo DS is doing but the PSP gave no real competition in price/value.
 

arr4ws

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pr0pensity said:
UMDs are enclosed. They don't scratch easily.
true... but for some reason i do not feel allright having a UMD in my pocket with my keys....if something goes INSIDE the UMD , im pretty sure ill wreck my psp...
 

RancidWAnnaRIot

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pr0pensity said:
UMDs are enclosed. They don't scratch easily.

the enclosure sucks ballz though...

my PSP games are all retarded the enclosure caves in on itself.. they're poorly made..

my games still work.. but the enclosure construction sucks
 

brom42

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pr0pensity said:
Is the the next Gameboy using cartridges? You could squeeze 1024MB comfortably on a chip, but will that cut it?

What are you talking about?? You can already buy 4gb SD cards for under $75. Given that the DS has probably has at least 2 more years in its life span, Nintendo will probably be able to get 4gb chips for dirt cheap by then or even 8gb chips. Way more than enough for a hand held game. I mean the 360 is still only using DVDs and they only hold 8.4gb.
 

Rocketpig

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I don't see Nintendo having a problem "keeping up" with their current advantage, no matter what format their games are in.

Optical drives are a bad call in portables. Sony, in their typical arrogant fashion, failed to realize this.
 

Psychotext

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Last I read (Wikipedia) was that the DS was limited to 128 megabyes of cart space (1 gigabit / 1024 megabits). Which didn't make a lot of sense to me given that obviously you could fit much more memory in that space. Anyone got a link to better info?
 

Crapinapale

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Psychotext said:
Last I read (Wikipedia) was that the DS was limited to 128 megabyes of cart space (1 gigabit / 1024 megabits). Which didn't make a lot of sense to me given that obviously you could fit much more memory in that space. Anyone got a link to better info?

these were the original launch specs from about 2 years ago. Chances are that if Nintendo needed/wanted to put more space in, they could.
 
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Cartridges seems to be the way to go for portables due to: better for battery life, quicker loading times, more portable/smaller.

The only thing limiting it is storage space but they've got smaller ones than the DS' in the world that hold 8GB don't they?
 

JohnleMVP

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Cartridges are durable and fast, but are always going to be more expensive then optical media. I think the future could be downloadable games that are signed to the device or a user account. The problem I can see is what will it do to the retail market if games are just coming for the internet.
 

erwos

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brom42 said:
What are you talking about?? You can already buy 4gb SD cards for under $75. Given that the DS has probably has at least 2 more years in its life span, Nintendo will probably be able to get 4gb chips for dirt cheap by then or even 8gb chips. Way more than enough for a hand held game.
The problem is that solid state memory still costs _way_ more than optical media. How much is a UMD? 50 cents? The profit margin is much, much smaller for everyone involved. Heck, the same issue killed the N64.

Second, memory chips are inefficient, in the sense that once you pass certain "magic thresholds", you're stuck buying more than you need. For example: a GBA game that's 36 megabits requires 64 megabits of memory, since you can't buy 36 megabit cartridges. The same is true of UMD, of course, but the much smaller per-unit cost makes up for it, and then some.
 

InorganicMatter

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I applaud Nintendo for being the only company to stick with cartridges. Flash memory is cheap, durable, fast, and consumes waaaay less battery than optical media does.
 

LadyMakoFox

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Some of the games for the DS are already 512mb in size, they are growing as the DS ages.


The DS has a bit more life in it then what most make it sound like.





If I remember correctly the issue that killed the 64 wasn't the cost of memory but more game selection and options with the games. Sure at the time you could do more with a disc, but solid state has advanced enough to be able to compete with disc.
 

Lord Nassirbannipal

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LadyMakoFox said:
If I remember correctly the issue that killed the 64 wasn't the cost of memory but more game selection and options with the games. Sure at the time you could do more with a disc, but solid state has advanced enough to be able to compete with disc.

Actually, it was the cost.

PlayStation games were mostly $40-$50, but it wasn't uncommon for N64 games to cost $70 or more. The SNES was even worse as it had several games that cost $100.

It's possible to fit a CD or DVD's worth of information on a cartridge, but the high manufacturing costs would have to be passed on to the consumer.
 

RancidWAnnaRIot

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InorganicMatter said:
I applaud Nintendo for being the only company to stick with cartridges. Flash memory is cheap, durable, fast, and consumes waaaay less battery than optical media does.


Using flash memory to store games in cartriages it stupid...

a DS game cart isn't all flash.. the only flash in them is to store saved game data.. the rest of the game is stored in some sort of ROM (probably some pseudo NAND ROM)..

ROM takes up WAY less space on a Silicon wafer and thus costs FAR less than Flash.. and will last nearly forever.. Flash can only hold a chrage for about 10 years, and is more prone to faliure because Flash cells are alittle more complicated to grow on silicon and by their very nature can lose charges due to effects lik hot carrier effects.. this problem doesn't exist for pseudo NMOS ROM which is a non degenrative way to store memory permanatly, it doesn't use stored charge like flash does..

Flash uses a Floating gate method to store charge..

bottom line..

a DS cart isn't all flash... in fact i'm sure it's less than 5% flash probably like 1% flash
 

Doward

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The hell with less power usage, more durability, etc.

When I am on the go, I do NOT want to waste my time staring at fucking load screens!! It cracks me up, that I can get a full 5 minutes of gameplay in between classes, while my friends with PSPs are stucking waiting on their game to load, and get only a minute or two of gaming in.
 

joemama

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I think a better question would be "how will Sony keep up in the portable market?" and will Microsoft even attempt to grab market share..
 

erwos

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RancidWAnnaRIot said:
a DS cart isn't all flash... in fact i'm sure it's less than 5% flash probably like 1% flash
You're being disingenuous. The fact is, it's solid state memory. Solid state memory costs much more than optical media. Buying a gig of the stuff is going to cost more than a UMD - a lot more.
 

darkangelamd

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erwos said:
You're being disingenuous. The fact is, it's solid state memory. Solid state memory costs much more than optical media. Buying a gig of the stuff is going to cost more than a UMD - a lot more.

Yeah, but as previously stated, you spend a lot more time looking at a loading screen with a umd, and a lot more energy spinning the umd, than you do with a cart, a lot more.

I have a psp and just bought a DS, and they are both good, but the carts in the DS is the way to go.
 

kumquat

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Most DS games are under 32MB and all of them are under 64MB. 64MB of solid state memory with a few KB or 1 MB of flash memory costs virtually nothing, even compared to a UMD with case.

The DS carts are.. what? About 1/3 the size of a UMD?

It's just not an issue.
 

RancidWAnnaRIot

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erwos said:
You're being disingenuous. The fact is, it's solid state memory. Solid state memory costs much more than optical media. Buying a gig of the stuff is going to cost more than a UMD - a lot more.

true.. solid state memory is more expensive than optical memory.. i never said it wasn't..

i was just correcting the post... I just wanted to get the technology straight.. that a DS cart isn't all flash.. it uses solid state ROM (usually Pseudo NMOS)

I was just trying to make the point that

Flash is more expensive than Pseudo NMOS ROM... but of course optical memory like CDs and UMD and DVD are far cheaper... however.. they are also FAR slower...

the nice thing about carts is that.. well.. obviously there are no load times.. the game plays striaght off the cart.. as opposed to UMDs or DVD which the game has to be loaded into RAM before it is played..

i personally don't thin UMD is bad.. i think the enclosures that UMDs come in suck though..
 

pr0pensity

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brom42 said:
What are you talking about?? You can already buy 4gb SD cards for under $75. Given that the DS has probably has at least 2 more years in its life span, Nintendo will probably be able to get 4gb chips for dirt cheap by then or even 8gb chips. Way more than enough for a hand held game. I mean the 360 is still only using DVDs and they only hold 8.4gb.
$75 is prohibitively expensive for game storage, and video games are not stored on SD cards or anything like it.
 

kumquat

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4GB represents something like 70 times as much space as is used by the largest DS games.
 
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kumquat said:
How will Nintendo keep up....?

Keep up with whom?!

Yeah, it's kind of a strange question isn't it? When you're the *leader*--and by a *massive* margin at that--it's your *competitors* who need to worry about "keeping up". Right now, for example, this question should be applied to Sony--who're falling behind fast.
 

Slade

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Doesn't Nintendo LEAD the portable market right now???

Despite the technological disparity between what it's selling and what tech is available, they are remarkably leading in sales... perhaps technological superiority is NOT the first and foremost concept for a portable system's success...
 
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erwos said:
You're being disingenuous. The fact is, it's solid state memory. Solid state memory costs much more than optical media. Buying a gig of the stuff is going to cost more than a UMD - a lot more.

He's not being disingenuous, he's being factual. Yes, solid state memory is more expensive than optical. It's also faster, more resilient and far, FAR more portable. I can fit a *dozen* DS games in the same physical space as a UMD. I typically carry my DS with around 10 games all in a small pouch that's pretty well form fitting for the DS. It also uses *FAR* less energy. I can play my DS on the first or second brightness settings for 15-20 hours, on the highest brightness for 10-12 hours. PSP's battery lasts maybe 4 hours.

There's simply nothing to argue here. Optical has more storage and a cheaper price, but solid state is faster, smaller and far, far more portable friendly.
 
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Slade said:
Doesn't Nintendo LEAD the portable market right now???

Despite the technological disparity between what it's selling and what tech is available, they are remarkably leading in sales... perhaps technological superiority is NOT the first and foremost concept for a gaming system's success...

Fixed that for you. Otherwise exactly right :). If technological superiority were a requirement for tapping the mass market, PS2 would have been dead last in this past generation.
 

Conker

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Cartridges are always better when going mobile ;). No worries about scratching the game, it'll work every time unless u really take a hammer to it lol. The ds just seems more durable to me compared to when i played the psp.

funny durability test of last gens :)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=PUWFpZ7DksI
 

erwos

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DragonMasterAlex said:
He's not being disingenuous, he's being factual.
One is not exclusive of the other, and correcting my technical terminology (yes, I know they use ROM in carts) as an alternative to actually answering my arguments is disingenuous. :)

IMHO, the future of hand-helds is going to be in microdrives/large flash drives and downloadable games. They only need to sell software, and it totally nukes the used market.
 

Spaceman_Spiff

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The solid state vs optical decision was made moreso by the requirements of the hardware. The ds doesn't need a lot of storage space because it doesn't contain nearly the same processing power as the psp does. They'd be retarded to put optical media in it because they'd only use it for audio clips and maybe fmv.

Conversely, the psp would be completely crippled if it were limited to the ds' storage space. Its a good solution, and load times are more than acceptable with the right developers (see tekken:dr). Looking at a poorly coded game and concluding that the psp inherently has minute + load times is like looking at far cry and saying the wii is barely more powerful than an n64. Also, the standby mode on the system helps loadtimes a lot.

Anywho, going optical in the future comes down to requirements. If nintendo waits 3-4 years to release another handheld, they might be able to do it solid state. Remember, their fear of optical media saw the gc have 1.8 gig discs, which is probably what they'll be aiming for. At the same time, consumers are the ones paying for the media in the form of higher game prices, and optical media will always be cheaper.
 

pr0pensity

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Spaceman_Spiff said:
The solid state vs optical decision was made moreso by the requirements of the hardware. The ds doesn't need a lot of storage space because it doesn't contain nearly the same processing power as the psp does. They'd be retarded to put optical media in it because they'd only use it for audio clips and maybe fmv.
You could make that claim for any system and it would be no less absurd.
 

Namork

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Spaceman_Spiff said:
At the same time, consumers are the ones paying for the media in the form of higher game prices, and optical media will always be cheaper.

ORLY?

Most DS games are about $30, AAA titles might go for $35, and I've never seen one for $40. PSP games tend to start at $40 and get as high as $50 easily.

The medium for the DS might be more expensive, but you'd never know it from the game prices.
 

Spaceman_Spiff

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pr0pensity said:
You could make that claim for any system and it would be no less absurd.

What exactly is "absurd" about that comment? Its an n64, and therefore requires n64 amounts of storage. The psp is between ps1 and ps2, so it needs that type of storage. Media type is a major factor in the development of a system, to be sure, but its far from the most important one. The psp and the ds play distinctly different types of games and the hardware reflects that.

Namork said:
ORLY?

Most DS games are about $30, AAA titles might go for $35, and I've never seen one for $40. PSP games tend to start at $40 and get as high as $50 easily.

The medium for the DS might be more expensive, but you'd never know it from the game prices.

I wasn't suggesting it was the only factor in development costs, just that a ds game on more expensive media would cost more than the same ds game on less expensive media. Solid state media can quickly get prohibitively expensive. Obviously psp vs ds development takes many more factors into account than just media cost.

Also, just to play devil's advocate, Final Fantasy III does in fact cost $40 in North America.
 
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