Upcoming console rumoured to instead use game carts similar to 3DS handheld

Evidence builds behind disc-less Nintendo NX

One of the longest-running rumours about Nintendo’s next home console may just turn out to be true.

Internet soothsayers have been suggesting that the Nintendo NX will drop support for an optical drive and accompanying game discs since almost the moment the machine was revealed.

Alternative methods put forward vary from a digital-only future for the box to the use of cartridges or carts.

The latter method appears to be gaining validity, thanks to predictions made by Macronix, the manufacturer of ROM chips for Nintendo’s consoles.

The company told Japanese finance site Money-Link (via Nintendo Life) that it expects a boom of interest at the end of this year, around the time that the NX will likely begin manufacturing ahead of its March 2017 release period.

Macronix is currently working on a new range of 32nm chips, a different format from the 75nm cards used in the Nintendo 3DS handheld.

3DS carts can store up to 8GB of memory, with the new technology presumably increasing that exponentially.

Other rumours had proposed the idea of a hybrid machine, bridging the handheld and home console formats – meaning a new format of storage may be required.

Chairman Wu Miin specifically called out the impact of Nintendo’s next console on Macronix’s financials, expressing that “the company can potentially get rid of loss in the third quarter as the orders of an important customer, Nintendo, will have critical impact”.

“Miin noted that before the launch of Nintendo’s new platform, the sales of ROM is expected to remain unchanged in this year, but there is growth potential. Macronix expects the sales of 75 nm, or below, NOR Flash process products will increase to 50 per cent and more high-capacity products will be sold.”

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