So if NX uses carts, what does that mean for the rest of us...?

Do you want carts to return on NX....?

  • Yes....

    Votes: 9 75.0%
  • No....

    Votes: 3 25.0%

  • Total voters
    12

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#1


Third Parties....


So if you didn't know about all the legendary horror stories about Nintendo ruling the cart manufacturing game with an Iron Fist back on the NES, now you do....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Entertainment_System


"Nintendo's near monopoly on the home video game market left it with a degree of influence over the industry. Unlike Atari, which never actively courted third-party developers (and even went to court in an attempt to forceActivision to cease production of Atari 2600 games), Nintendo had anticipated and encouraged the involvement of third-party software developers; strictly, however, on Nintendo's terms.[69] Some of the Nintendo platform-control measures were adopted by later console manufacturers such as Sega, Sony, and Microsoft, although not as stringent.

To this end, a 10NES authentication chip was placed in every console and another was placed in every officially licensed cartridge. If the console's chip could not detect a counterpart chip inside the cartridge, the game would not load.[70] Nintendo portrayed these measures as intended to protect the public against poor-quality games,[71] and placed a golden seal of approval on all licensed games released for the system.

Nintendo was not as restrictive as Sega, which did not permit third-party publishing until Mediagenic in late summer 1988.[72] Nintendo's intention, however, was to reserve a large part of NES game revenue for itself. Nintendo required that they be the sole manufacturer of all cartridges, and that the publisher had to pay in full before the cartridges for that game be produced. Cartridges could not be returned to Nintendo, so publishers assumed all the risk. As a result, some publishers lost more money due to distress sales of remaining inventory at the end of the NES era than they ever earned in profits from sales of the games. Because Nintendo controlled the production of all cartridges, it was able to enforce strict rules on its third-party developers, which were required to sign a contract by Nintendo that would obligate these parties to develop exclusively for the system, order at least 10,000 cartridges, and only make five games per year.[73] A 1988 shortage of DRAM and ROM chips also reportedly caused Nintendo to only permit 25% of publishers' requests for cartridges. This was an average figure, with some publishers receiving much higher amounts and others almost none.[71] GameSpy noted that Nintendo's "iron-clad terms" made the company many enemies during the 1980s. Some developers tried to circumvent the five game limit by creating additional company brands like Konami's Ultra Games label; others tried circumventing the 10NES chip.[69]

Further information: § Unlicensed games
Nintendo was accused of antitrust behavior because of the strict licensing requirements.[74] The United States Department of Justice and several states began probing Nintendo's business practices, leading to the involvement of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC conducted an extensive investigation which included interviewing hundreds of retailers. During the FTC probe, Nintendo changed the terms of its publisher licensing agreements to eliminate the two-year rule and other restrictive terms. Nintendo and the FTC settled the case in April 1991, with Nintendo required to send vouchers giving a $5 discount off to a new game, to every person that had purchased a NES title between June 1988 and December 1990. GameSpy remarked that Nintendo's punishment was particularly weak giving the case's findings, although it has been speculated that the FTC did not want to damage the video game industry in the United States.[69]

In the longer run, however, with the NES near its end of its life many third-party publishers such as Electronic Arts supported upstart competing consoles with less strict licensing terms such as the Sega Genesis and then the PlayStation, which eroded and then took over Nintendo's dominance in the home console market, respectively. Consoles from Nintendo's rivals in the post-SNES era had always enjoyed much stronger third-party support than Nintendo, which relied more heavily on first-party games."

This behavior on Nintendo's part was do to the fact that they had all the power....

Why...?

Because the NES was a huge success....

But, that's the past.... What about something more current....

Well, have you ever tried to look up the percentage of profits split between Nintendo, pubs, and devs when it comes to 3DS carts...?

It's not easy info to find....

In fact, it's pretty much not on the internets....

In fact if anybody knows where to find this info, please post it here for the rest of us to review....

Originally, developers came forward to basically talk shit about Nintendo's third party cart policies simply because they felt they were unfair....

It wasn't something Nintendo really wanted to go public because it made them look greedy and like a big bully....

It in fact caused some great devs to look elsewhere to produce their games, where patures were greener, and they were offered a fair share of the profits they deserved....

Comapanies like SONY and SEGA took adavatage of Nintendo's Iron Fist tactics by letting up on their own....

And thus third parties abandoned Nintendo platforms in droves for years....

Now, if NX does indeed use a cart format, I don't see Nintendo using this Iron Fist strategy early on....

I see them being more lax on these policies in the begining in order to attract devs and pubs back to the cart format....

But what if NX is a HUGE hit strait out the gate....? What if it's a huge hit period...? Could we see these Iron Fist type policies return....?

Thoughts...?
 
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TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#2
Storage & Cart Limitations....

Nintendo refers to its current cart format as the Nintendo Game Card....

Wpa01.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_game_card

Nintendo game cards, trademarked as Game Card, are the media format used to physically distribute video games for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS systems. The game cards resemble smaller, thinner versions of the Game Pak cartridges for previous portable gaming consoles released by Nintendo, such as the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance.[1] The mask ROM chips are manufactured by Macronix and have an access speed of 150 ns.[2]"

It's the format they have used since the original DS.... It has been upgraded to it's current form in the 3DS version which has a mem capacity of 8gigs....

Nintendo 3DS Game Card (CTR-005)[edit]
Game cards for the Nintendo 3DS are 1 to 8 gigabytes in size,[7] with 2 GiB of game data at launch.[8] They look very similar to DS Game Cards, but are incompatible and have a small tab jutting out on one side to prevent them from being inserted into a DS.[9]

So if NX does use a cart format, it's most likely going to be based on the Nintendo Game Card, just a much upgraded version of it....

How much it will be upgraded is up for debate, but to give you an idea of what the competition used for comparison....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray

So these carts are going to have to hold a lot of data for them to be able to compete in the format wars.... I mean, we know Nintendo know how to use HDD space wisley as exampled by multiple first party games having very low memory counts....

Hell, Splatoon is literally under 3 gigs.... And that's a full priced game people....

The problem here lies in the fact that third parties games just keep getting bigger and bigger in terms of memory storage, with some games easily rounding out near the 50-100 gig mark....

So if Nintendo truly wants to make the cart format appealing again, it's going to have to give these developers the room to fit their huge games on these carts....

And they are going to have to back up the NX with a built in HDD drive that has a good storage capacity....

32 gigs is not going to cut it this time imo.... Devs aren't gone want to put these huge games on a console that has no fucking onboard HDD for update and day one patches....

When we know more about whether carts are actually happening, we will know exactly how much sacrifice devs may have to make to port their games to NX....

We'll see....


Pricing....


So another thing about carts were their pricing structures.... More mem in a cart usually meant it cost a bit more to buy....


Take N64 games for example.... The amount of memory didn't always correlate to the actual price of the game, but....

When it comes to carts vs CD, DVD's or Blu Ray, carts lose this race everytime....

Since those other formats are always so much cheaper to manufacture....

So can Nintendo compete in this area with carts...? Can they make them affordable enough to manufacture that devs might look to make a game on cart vs Blu Ray...?

This is a huge question that will go a long way to answering the other question of whether carts can actually even work for Nintendo in this post cart world we live in today....

Nintendo will most certainly have to have an answer for this if it hopes to bring the carts back in a big way....


Fun Factor, Nostalgia, Durabilty and Collectabilty....


So I don't know about you, but I have always found carts to be a fun format for games....

Carts feel good, they have that new cart smell when you first open them....

As great as the CD format was for the game industry as a whole, it bummed me out because they just aren't as cool to me as carts....

The sound carts make when they clang together.... They way they look stacked next to each other on a shelf collecting dust....

It's just an awesome feel to hold a cart vs a CD or bluray....

Inserting a cart into a console also just feels right....

CD's and Blu rays have always felt more like playing a movie, not a game....

The nostalgia factor of carts cannot be denied.... We all grew up playing games on carts, and loved it....

Not to mention the collectability of carts has gone thru the roof over the years....

Some of the most sought after games ever made are on Nintendo carts, and they can fetch hefty price tags for those looking to fill that hole in their collection....

Now, I know CD games are collectable as fuck too, but for me, it's just not the same....

Never has been, and never will be....

And what about teh fact that carts are so durable compared to the CD, DVD, or Bluray format...?

You can literally drop a cart off a second story balcony and it will probably still work after a bit of messing with....

They don't get scratch or scuffed, and are overall just a more durable format for games imo....


Final Verdict....


If Nintendo is going to bring carts back, they have a lot of work to do to convince the rest of the game industry that they should return....

What say you...?

 
Last edited:

Odo

Well-Known Member
#3
Technically: carts are the better way.

But in the real world: no way, this is stupid unless NX is a handheld, a 3DS successor.

It's blu-ray or digital only.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#5
In terms of size, 16-32GB should be standard, given how standard Blu-Ray Discs are 25GB. Now, it's easy enough for Blu-Ray to be dual-layered and go up to 50GB, so it would be natural for Nintendo to have a 64GB Game card as well. But the issue of course comes from pricing I think, and this is likely the biggest hurdle. Can these Game Cards be cost-effective enough to close that gap between it and discs? Obviously, it'll never be 1:1, but we know that flash storage is getting cheaper and cheaper to manufacture every year. Hell, just yesterday I saw on amazon a 960GB Crucial SSD for 200 dollars, which even a year ago would've been at least double that. I bought a 480GB SSD a couple years ago for over 200 dollars (It was still worth it btw), so it just shows you how cheap it's all getting.

But even SD cards are getting incredibly cheap, and knowing Nintendo, they would get wholesale prices and other good deals to keep the price down. And interestingly enough, it wouldn't be improbable either for devs to use different tiers of Game Cards. Let's say Nintendo offers 8, 16, 32, and 64GB Game Cards for games, with even the option for a 128GB if a game so needs it. Pricing is obviously going to be different, so that could reflect on the price of the game as well, although I doubt it in the end.

But again, pricing for these storage mediums is always getting cheaper, so it will eventually bridge that gap between optical media and carts.

But carts do provide some much needed benefits over optical media, chief among which is read/write speeds. And as games get bigger and bigger, and bandwidth gets higher and higher, it might end up becoming a true bottleneck to continue using optical media. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that load times for some current-gen games have some pretty sizable load times, and while some of that comes from bad code, I think Now, that's not to say read/write speeds for optical will become stagnate, but flash storage already has a leg up over optical media, and it'll only get bigger as time progresses. Optical media will unlikely reach the speeds of flash storage quite frankly.

And here's another benefit too. Because the carts will be smaller, the system itself could be smaller, probably better designed for cooling to reduce heat, and a reduction in power consumption as well. If you think about it, the Wii U's optical drive takes up maybe 1/4 the size of the entire system, but it is also HALF the total system's weight. That's a good chunk when you consider it, and by switching to carts, you reduce the form factor, while also allowing more space left for the hardware itself if needed, and it evens keep the price down as well. The price off-set might be beneficial for some people, but others, probably not.

But here's another thing I just thought of as well. Even with my talk about read/write speeds, those benefits are unlikely to carry over with an internal HDD, especially if it's a normal HDD, and not SSD (which the latter would be extremely unlikely given the pricing currently). Then again, if a lot of the bottlenecks stem from optical media (which I'm sure a lot of them do), perhaps games could be better tailored for the Game cards, and thus the HDD as well. And if you choose to upgrade to a SSD, you get even further benefits.

I'm totally in for carts coming back, but pricing is the only thing I'm worried about, but these are some things I've thought about with it off-hand.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#6
In terms of size, 16-32GB should be standard, given how standard Blu-Ray Discs are 25GB. Now, it's easy enough for Blu-Ray to be dual-layered and go up to 50GB, so it would be natural for Nintendo to have a 64GB Game card as well. But the issue of course comes from pricing I think, and this is likely the biggest hurdle. Can these Game Cards be cost-effective enough to close that gap between it and discs? Obviously, it'll never be 1:1, but we know that flash storage is getting cheaper and cheaper to manufacture every year. Hell, just yesterday I saw on amazon a 960GB Crucial SSD for 200 dollars, which even a year ago would've been at least double that. I bought a 480GB SSD a couple years ago for over 200 dollars (It was still worth it btw), so it just shows you how cheap it's all getting.

But even SD cards are getting incredibly cheap, and knowing Nintendo, they would get wholesale prices and other good deals to keep the price down. And interestingly enough, it wouldn't be improbable either for devs to use different tiers of Game Cards. Let's say Nintendo offers 8, 16, 32, and 64GB Game Cards for games, with even the option for a 128GB if a game so needs it. Pricing is obviously going to be different, so that could reflect on the price of the game as well, although I doubt it in the end.

But again, pricing for these storage mediums is always getting cheaper, so it will eventually bridge that gap between optical media and carts.

But carts do provide some much needed benefits over optical media, chief among which is read/write speeds. And as games get bigger and bigger, and bandwidth gets higher and higher, it might end up becoming a true bottleneck to continue using optical media. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that load times for some current-gen games have some pretty sizable load times, and while some of that comes from bad code, I think Now, that's not to say read/write speeds for optical will become stagnate, but flash storage already has a leg up over optical media, and it'll only get bigger as time progresses. Optical media will unlikely reach the speeds of flash storage quite frankly.

And here's another benefit too. Because the carts will be smaller, the system itself could be smaller, probably better designed for cooling to reduce heat, and a reduction in power consumption as well. If you think about it, the Wii U's optical drive takes up maybe 1/4 the size of the entire system, but it is also HALF the total system's weight. That's a good chunk when you consider it, and by switching to carts, you reduce the form factor, while also allowing more space left for the hardware itself if needed, and it evens keep the price down as well. The price off-set might be beneficial for some people, but others, probably not.

But here's another thing I just thought of as well. Even with my talk about read/write speeds, those benefits are unlikely to carry over with an internal HDD, especially if it's a normal HDD, and not SSD (which the latter would be extremely unlikely given the pricing currently). Then again, if a lot of the bottlenecks stem from optical media (which I'm sure a lot of them do), perhaps games could be better tailored for the Game cards, and thus the HDD as well. And if you choose to upgrade to a SSD, you get even further benefits.

I'm totally in for carts coming back, but pricing is the only thing I'm worried about, but these are some things I've thought about with it off-hand.
Load times haven't been a factor for me for a long time, but this is a great point that I missed in the main OP.... Instant access, no load times....

 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#7
I think it was @sjmartin79 @Shoulder and myself talkin in the NX thread that thru me back onto #teamcart for NX.

The main reasons being instant load times, and the cheap cost of carts and they still have high storage.

Both of those factors alone and your talkin the hell outta Nintendos language. I think they do go back, everyone else be damned.
 

Koenig

The Architect
#8
Throwing technicalities aside, if they go with carts I want them to be roughly 2.5 by 4 inch cartridges or bigger; something that follows the golden ratio, is large enough to easily handle, and small enough that it does not feel clunky. I like the 3DS/DS carts, but for a home console they are just to damned small.

Yes, this is a completely subjective thought. Ill write up a more detailed analysis for this thread later.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#9
Nintendo's previous approach was dependent on holding a strategic position in video games media that no longer exists (for anyone), it was not something inherent in carts as a technology per say - there were other factors that were necessary.

In addition to the benefits others have stated, I would add that carts also mean fewer moving parts (perhaps none) and therefore the possibility for much longer life expectancy on the console hardware. There will still be functioning SNES systems long after every PS2, Xbox and Gamecube have bit the dust. Diskdrive failure is inevitable sooner or later.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#10
Nintendo's previous approach was dependent on holding a strategic position in video games media that no longer exists (for anyone), it was not something inherent in carts as a technology per say - there were other factors that were necessary.

In addition to the benefits others have stated, I would add that carts also mean fewer moving parts (perhaps none) and therefore the possibility for much longer life expectancy on the console hardware. There will still be functioning SNES systems long after every PS2, Xbox and Gamecube have bit the dust. Diskdrive failure is inevitable sooner or later.
Great point Repo! Another thing I missed in the opening OP.... Less moving parts in a console should mean extended life of said console....

Awesome stuff....
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#12
One thing I would like to point out is, I still have yet to come up with any information past speculation as to what Nintendo actually makes off of each 3DS game sold....

Furthermore, I cannot find any info regarding how that profit pie is split between devs, pubs and retailers....

I've been reserching and have yet to find a single graph, chart or schematic describing this relationship in any way, fashion, or form....

So my question is, why...? Were those early dev leaks about how Nintendo was basically fleecing the industry so bad that Nintendo opted to take action and impliment a clause in these devs and pubs contracts that promised not to discuss such things or else they would be sued...?

I mean, why else is this info not readily availible anywhere...? Has nobody thought to ask this question...?

Or have they been asking only to come up empty like I have so far...?

Just a thought....
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#13
As a consumer, the only thing I would have against cartridges is that it would likely spell the end of backwards compatibility on Nintendo consoles.
Definitly a down side.... I think most Nintendo fans want backwards compatiblity.... But the question is, would they trade it to have carts back...?
 

Koenig

The Architect
#14
Definitly a down side.... I think most Nintendo fans want backwards compatiblity.... But the question is, would they trade it to have carts back...?
I would be willing to buy a pricier + version of the system if it meant that it supported backwards compatibility. (IE had a cart only NX system and a more costly BC compatible NX in addition to it) If Nintendo went this route they could focus on NX development and keep the price down for the new market without completely alienating their current one. Granted, I highly doubt Nintendo would do this, but it is worth considering.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#15
From @Mr-Chris in the chat....

"I feel like if they were carts it'd be a bit similar to the N64 again and people going "Woaaaaah what you doing using carts Nintendo?!?!?11?"

He makes a good point.... There could be a lot of hesitation on devs, pubs, AND consumers part if they went back to the cart format....

Posted for Mr. since he can't himself.... I thought it was very relevant....
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#16
As a consumer, the only thing I would have against cartridges is that it would likely spell the end of backwards compatibility on Nintendo consoles.
Quite honestly though, it is inevitable. The PPC architecture is mostly dead, and in the long-term, it would serve Nintendo better to opt out of it. The Viritual Console can become Nintendo's true BC feature via emulation, and if Nintendo goes with ARM, they'll be golden for years.

I think in the end, it's a short-term loss for a long-term gain. And if the recent rumors are any indication (which do seem plausible), we can expect NX ports of Wii U games, which is more of a win for consumers than a loss because of a few hardcore folks who want BC.
 
#17
Fuck 3rd Parties
Japanese companies will be able to deal
Discs are impossible now, with the sizes devs dump onto them. I mean, its at the fucking point where you have to install the game into the fricking drive before you can play it, and this is mostly due to the disc read speed not being fast enough. I think thats a thing, right, someone correct me on that if I'm wrong.

I still think carts are unlikely but in a dream, I'd take them. As for "having carts back" aspect of it, never crossed my mind, I just think given today's physical media climate, its the only option between discs and all digital.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#19
Fuck 3rd Parties
Japanese companies will be able to deal
Discs are impossible now, with the sizes devs dump onto them. I mean, its at the fucking point where you have to install the game into the fricking drive before you can play it, and this is mostly due to the disc read speed not being fast enough. I think thats a thing, right, someone correct me on that if I'm wrong.

I still think carts are unlikely but in a dream, I'd take them. As for "having carts back" aspect of it, never crossed my mind, I just think given today's physical media climate, its the only option between discs and all digital.
No, you're right. Hell, it's why you had (more like encouraged) to install those packs for XCX if you bought the physical version of the game. The disc read speeds would not be able to keep up with all the streaming features of the game. This is also becoming an issue with open world games I think. Like you said, there are tons of games that practically offload the assets from the disc onto the HDD for this reason. So why even bother to buy physical then?

It's really becoming to the point where if this keeps up, the only reason to stay with physical is for nostalgic reasons. It's possible if Nintendo went with carts, it would negate the reason to install game data onto the HDD because it all off loads much faster than a optical disc ever could.

It would also free up all that extra space from the HDD for actual downloadable titles.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#22
For those of you are for cartridges on the NX, what size/shape do you think the carts should be? (assuming the NX is a home console) Any examples?
For myself I'm thinkin a touch bigger than maybe the 3DS games.

Now Im also on record for being in this boat. I think that NX is both home and handheld consoles. But for games I think it's a cart that you only buy one game. But that one game fits in both devices and the devise reads the cart accordingly.
 

simplyTravis

Lamer Gamers Podcast Co-Host
#25
I think we should see carts come back. They could be the size of a pack of playing cards or half a cell phone even though they don't necessarily need to use up all that room. For instance, if you only use 1/4 the size of the cart for your modules which could equal say 25 GB then you could pack in 4 more modules for up to 100GB while keeping the form factor necessary. Or as time goes on and tech improves you could always redo the innards but still have plenty of room if necessary.


I doubt we'll see different hardware..but who knows? More ram or special chips snuck in?

I agree that 3DS cartridges are wayyyy too small. I lose those suckers quick. All download seems like a step backward especially with old school gaming coming back into fashion. People would flock to having the cartridges again in some sort of fashion. I really see Sandisk jumping onboard with Nintendo as they have always had a good working relationship with SD compatibility for awhile now.

You know what..screw it...I just want these things to be what we put games on from now on..


Who needs "clouds" when you have these sunny little things plugged inside your controller?
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#29
About the area of a playing card and the width of a pencil. That would be the ideal size for a console cartridge based medium.
I think an ideal size would be the area of a drivers license or credit card, which is slightly smaller than your standard deck of playing cards. I do agree about thickness being what a standard pencil is though.

One thing I noticed though is going smaller might be beneficial in keeping costs down due to the quantity of materials needed. Sure the difference might be on the order of a few cents, but add those up in the tens or hundreds of millions of cartridges, it all adds up in the end, and you know how Nintendo like to keep costs down.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#32
A realistic question for you:
When you hear about 3rd party games getting bigger and bigger when it comes to file size, do you think that has to do with lazy or inefficient coding?
Personally I do. When you hear people talkin about (and I know it's not the most huge game) Splatooner being 3 gigs or something. Or it seems like I hear people talkin about new Nintendo games comin out on eShop and there file sizes are so small for games so big. Maybe it's WWHD that I'm thinkin about.

Then you hear about games like Assassins Creed being so huge in gigs. I do think that A PART not all of it is lazy coding that's not wrapped up tight. OR it could be to excite the masses that "OMG THE GAME IS 50 GIGS ITS SO HUGE!!!!"
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#35
Uncompressed textures and audio files can really bloat the file size. Games like Battlefield 4 reach around 40 GB, but they have really high texture resolution and audio that sounds amazing in a nice sound system. Dark Souls 3 is a beautiful game, but it is only about 19GB, and you can really tell they saved a lot of space with those awful compressed sound effects. For such an immersive game, they shouldn't have skimped out on the sound quality. You can also tell with a game like Xenoblade Chronicle X, which is ridiculously massive, but has pretty low texture resolution and terrible sound, and it still amounts to over 20 GB of space if I recall correctly.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#36
Uncompressed textures and audio files can really bloat the file size. Games like Battlefield 4 reach around 40 GB, but they have really high texture resolution and audio that sounds amazing in a nice sound system. Dark Souls 3 is a beautiful game, but it is only about 19GB, and you can really tell they saved a lot of space with those awful compressed sound effects. For such an immersive game, they shouldn't have skimped out on the sound quality. You can also tell with a game like Xenoblade Chronicle X, which is ridiculously massive, but has pretty low texture resolution and terrible sound, and it still amounts to over 20 GB of space if I recall correctly.
Yeah. textures and audio can really add up when making games, and due to the nature of the beast, developers are using more higher-quality textures and better sound to compliment everything. And yeah, while XCX is massively big, many of the textures in the over world are not as high quality as you might expect. You can definitely tell Monolith Soft sacrificed graphical fidelity, likely for two reasons: space reasons, and of course hardware. It does make me wonder if XCX were to be ported over to the NX, what sort of improvements there would be Obviously, resolution and probably framerate would be two areas of improvement, but character models, world geometry, and of course textures would be welcome.

Don't get me wrong, XCX is a beautiful looking game, but that mostly comes from the world itself. Also doesn't help that during cut-scenes the characters look static and robot-like, which is weird when you think about XC on Wii, which I feel had a lot more "life" in the characters. I also think the voice acting lacks compared to XC. It doesn't feel as real, and instead sounds like a bunch of people just reading lines from a script. Again, I think this is very strange, given how much of an "ensemble" game this is. What do I mean by ensemble? Well, the fact that the main storyline is more secondary than primary. The game seems to be built more around affinity, and thus the ensemble side of things. There's a lot more emphasis of the NPCs and other smaller characters compared to XC, which had its massive main storyline. But I digress...

Anyway, it's obvious that texture sizes and other chunks of game data are likely to get bigger, which is why I'm curious as to why a lot of Wii U games are seamingly smaller compared to a lot of other games. It's no surprise that many of Nintendo's own offerings do have more "simple" graphics, but art styles more than make up for it which is why we can look at games such as MK8, 3D World, and Smash Bros and they all look beautiful. Again, a lot of that comes down to the art style I think.

But if we're talking platformers though, such as Mario, look to Ratchet and Clank for the PS4, which just came out. That game totals at just over 24GB in size, which I think is rather good, given how big the game is. But then you have games such as Black Ops 3 for PS4 and it tops out at 43GB. What's going on here? Like Matt said, I think part of it is unused/bad code that is leftover. But a game like COD probably prides itself on sound, so maybe more resources are used for it.

Just for comparisons sake, I wanted to see the differences between the same game across different platforms, and settled on Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, since that was the last AC game on the Wii U. Here's what I found out:

PC: 30GB
PS4: 20GB
Wii U: 13GB (which strangely is smaller compared to AC3)
PS3: 10GB
360: 7GB
Xbone: 20GB

As far as I know, these are sizes for just the standalone game, and not including the DLC, but it's interesting on how all the games differ, and much of it is only down to the graphics themselves. But I also think some of it pertains to specific console-based code, but I don't know for sure. It's interesting to think about though.

I'd be very curious to get a breakdown of all the assets of various videogames, and what takes up what amount of space, and why.
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#37
I vastly prefer carts to discs, and I don't want all digital. I'm a collector, I want a physical copy. I also have a very strong association with carts back to the N64.

To me, carts are a fun and easy way for Nintendo to further separate themseleves from Sony and Microsoft with the NX. It'd be brilliantly Nintendo. A move with the future in mind, that harkens back to a simpler past.
 

AutisAwsome

AKA FloppyPony. I am on twitter and facebook to :3
#39
I think the 3ds has pretty big and well loading games considerin it works from cartriges so I don't think there will be too much limitation with them if they decide to use them. plus they don't break or scratch so easily like discs do so that is a major plus, especially if they are going for younger markets. Makes sense to me
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#40
@Shoulder and @FriedShoes

Wow I never thought about disk being way to full and not being able to keep up because we are already putting games on HDD because of space issues.

Fantastic thread all around:mthumb:
I don't know if it's still the case, but I remember on the PS3, that super high capacity bluray drive they were so proud of was so slow, games would be written to the disc twice.

A CD basically works the same way an old school vinyl records does, except instead of a needle moving up and down, a laser serves the purpose. So imagine you have a record that lasts 45 minutes, but it's only got 20 minutes worth of music on it. You could enjoy your music and then wait 25 minutes before resetting the needle, or you could print the music twice. Now you can get back to the first song 25 minutes earlier! Same sort of principle on the PS3. They had huge capacity disks, but they couldn't read them fast enough, so devs just put two copies of their game on to improve seek times.

A realistic question for you:
When you hear about 3rd party games getting bigger and bigger when it comes to file size, do you think that has to do with lazy or inefficient coding?
Nah. I don't think so. As others have mentioned, the real memory eater is the assets - textures, sounds, models, music. They could be compressed but lossy compression isn't ideal, and lossless compression will require a bunch of RAM and cpu cycles to decompress before using.

I think the ever expanding size is just a side effect of the ever increasing fidelity of the game world's that are being created.
 

Koenig

The Architect
#41
I don't know if it's still the case, but I remember on the PS3, that super high capacity bluray drive they were so proud of was so slow, games would be written to the disc twice.

A CD basically works the same way an old school vinyl records does, except instead of a needle moving up and down, a laser serves the purpose. So imagine you have a record that lasts 45 minutes, but it's only got 20 minutes worth of music on it. You could enjoy your music and then wait 25 minutes before resetting the needle, or you could print the music twice. Now you can get back to the first song 25 minutes earlier! Same sort of principle on the PS3. They had huge capacity disks, but they couldn't read them fast enough, so devs just put two copies of their game on to improve seek times.



Nah. I don't think so. As others have mentioned, the real memory eater is the assets - textures, sounds, models, music. They could be compressed but lossy compression isn't ideal, and lossless compression will require a bunch of RAM and cpu cycles to decompress before using.

I think the ever expanding size is just a side effect of the ever increasing fidelity of the game world's that are being created.
A little off topic, but does compressed data have slower load times? Or is that merely in the initial format and not during the loading process itself? I am curious on whether or not there is any benefit to having some of the massive file sizes that games have today outside of graphical performance.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#42
if you think Nintendo is truly going for 3rd party parity again, then carts are a bad idea, but if you are rational, than you know they will never have 3rd party parity again, and at that point (like with power) huge monstrous amount of data are unnecessary... the next evolution of game cards will probably easily surpass 16gb, and that should be more than enough... and if the system supports sdxc then downloading data packs wont be much of an issue either as sdxc can support up to to 2 TB... right now the mass range on sd cards is at about 128gb... which you can find cards for sub $50 at... after that the price skyrockets.... but there are currently 512gb cards on the market (they are like $300, but in a couple of years that will be the top of the mass range, around $50)
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#43
In my experience, the few games that actually surpass 30 GB are those that have an option for "hi-fi" audio files and very high resolution texture, like Battlefield 4, Crysis 3, and Call of Duty. It's a bit of a waste because there are very few people that would take advantage of either of these things, let alone both, yet the file size remains the same for everyone. But yeah, just for the sake of giving some examples, I'll write down the file size of some of my games according to Steam:

Counter Strike: Global Offensive - 14.2 GB
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - 3.8 GB
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin - 18.5 GB (includes 3 DLC packs)
Dark Souls 3 - 19 GB
Just Cause 3 - 51 GB (HUGE open world with high resolution textures)
Just Cause 2 - 4.9 GB
Street Fighter V - 8.3 GB
Ultra Street Fighter 4 - 16 GB (no idea how)
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - 59 GB (the game has really nice sound, and people can see the individual hairs in your sack when you teabag them.)
Skyrim - 5.7 GB (Really big world, but it looks and sounds like a dog turd so it has a small size)
The Evil Within - 60 GB (again, really nice sound and high resolution texture)
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#44
A little off topic, but does compressed data have slower load times? Or is that merely in the initial format and not during the loading process itself? I am curious on whether or not there is any benefit to having some of the massive file sizes that games have today outside of graphical performance.
Compression is not an all-or-nothing proposition, you can compress something a little bit, or a lot. The entire purpose of compressing is to (1) reduce filesize and (2) reduce required processing.

With Lossy compression (think jpegs or gifs) you can reduce filesize without significantly increasing required processing. However, it has the negative consequence of degrading the quality.

You can imagine how it works sort of like a game of telephone. I tell you "I have this picture, it's just stripeso of colors. The stripes are: red, red, red, red, red, red, red, red, red, orange, red, red, magenta, red, red."

Now you tell your friend, "There's 15 mostly red stripes."

You've conveyed the information much more succinctly, but your friend now has no idea that there were orange and Magenta stripes, so it's impossible to recover them. However, he can draw what he thinks the picture should look like really quickly... it's just 15 red stripes. The key is, the only limit to how compressed you can get is how much you are willing to sacrifice. You could have just said "red", and your friend would have drawn something roughly similar to the original.


Lossless compression allows those to be recovered, but at a cost. You somehow have to represent the same data, but with less. That requires trickyness. Trickyness implies complexity. Complexity requires processing. Let's go back to the telephone game for a moment.

I repeat my first statement. You then tell your friend "a=Red, b=Orange, c=Magenta. a x 9, b, a x 2, c, a x 2".

Your friend can now reconstruct the original, but it takes a little more thinking. Maybe you have to go back and look up what a, b, and c are. But the compression isn't that great. The limit on how well you can compress is determined more by how clever you are, how much effort you are willing to put in, and how much time your friend has to figure it out, and some theoretical lower limit.

Now I should note that this dichotomy isn't necessarily this simple. Lossy JPEG compression, for example, is based on something called the Discrete Cosine Transform. It's not as simple as saying "it's pretty much red". In fact what it actually does is it breaks an image up into 8x8 blocks and then for each of them, computes it as a combination of multiple cosine waves. By doing this, it transforms each block into the frequency domain. It can the inspect the frequencies and discard those that are least represented. If you've ever compressed an image as a JPEG and had to select a "quality" setting, essentially what you are selecting is the threshold for the frequencies to keep or discard. By discarding data, you reduce filesize. The image can then be partially restored by doing the reverse transformation on the new, more limited dataset.

That's just an aside to clarify that processing complexity isn't necessarily trivial for Lossy compression.

Anyways, the point of all this is to say that there are different kinds and degrees of compression. Loading up the whole uncompressed data would be slower to get it off the disc and into RAM. However, for compressed media, there is the extra step of decompressing before it can be said to be ready. For each compression algorithm and settings, there will be a different tipping point where the new size is small enough, and the decompression time is quick enough, that it is faster to load compressed data and decompress it, than it would be to simply load uncompressed data.

I don't have any kind of benchmarks to say where those numbers lie for different algorithms. But I do think it is generally faster with a reasonable compression method and a reasonably quick data storage medium to load compressed data. Imagine the difference between loading a compressed jpeg vs an uncompressed bitmap over a very slow Internet connection. The compressed one will win every time. With a very fast Internet connection, and enough RAM to store the whole bitmap, though, that difference should either invert or at the very least disappear.

You also have to consider though, that while decompressing, the required amount of memory is likely at least the size of the compressed data plus the size of the uncompressed data.

I don't think there is a clear, generic answer, I'm afraid. It seems to be very case dependant to me.
 
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TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#45
http://www.businessinsider.com/nintendo-nx-may-use-game-cartridges-2016-5

"Remember the Nintendo 64? You're forgiven if you don't — the game console is 20 years old as of 2016, and its games look woefully outdated compared to the gorgeous graphics of modern games.

NintendoLeft: "Super Mario 64" for Nintendo 64 | Right: "Super Mario 3D World" for Wii U



Beyond being a Nintendo game console packed with beloved games like "Super Mario 64," the Nintendo 64 was the last Nintendo console that used game cartridges.

These guys:

Evan Amos, Wikimedia CommonsIf they look old and weird, that's because they're old and weird.



Every console since — from Nintendo and its competition — has used optical discs of some type. The PlayStation 1 used a form of compact disc (think: music CDs), while the PlayStation 2 used DVDs, and the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4 use versions of Blu-ray discs. Even Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U, uses a form of proprietary optical disc.

But there's a major issue with using optical disc-based media formats: Game consoles are too fast for them. Really!

Microsoft"Thief" being installed from disc on an Xbox One.



The reason that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 require you to install games before playing them is because the consoles are capable of processing the data on the disc faster than it's able to read said data. The solution that both Sony and Microsoft came up with? Install the data on the disc to the console's hard drive.

It is, frankly, a bad solution.

It means that you go home with a game disc, put it in your game console, and then wait for it to install instead of just playing the game. It's a notorious step backward from previous game consoles that didn't require you to wait around while the game installed from a disc.

Nintendo's Wii U doesn't require you to install disc-based games, but it's also nowhere near as powerful as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. With Nintendo's next console, codenamed "NX," the expectation is it'll be more powerful than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

SonyThe PlayStation 4.



So, how is Nintendo going to solve the disc issue? By using cartridges once again, it looks like.

A company that's worked with Nintendo for years, Macronix, might be behind the media format that Nintendo's using in its next console. British publication Screen Critics spotted some explicit mentions of Nintendo's next console in Macronix's latest financials report. Specifically, the company cited Nintendo's new platform as helping drive financial growth for the company in its third and fourth financial quarters — those financial quarters line up with this coming holiday and the first part of 2017, around the time the NX is expected to launch.

Nintendo said recently that its new console will launch in March 2017.

Wikimedia CommonsGame cartridges for the Nintendo DS and 3DS handheld consoles.



Adding more fuel to this already burning fire is the fact that Macronix was responsible for the proprietary media format used in Nintendo's 3DS handheld game console. That format, a 32-nanometer ROM chip, is capable of holding 8GB of media; the new format being created by Macronix is a 75-nanometer ROM chip, capable of holding far more data.

So, when you think of Nintendo's next console returning to cartridges, don't think about your dusty old NES carts. Think of the 3DS cartridge. Think of Flash memory. Most importantly, think of an evolution beyond the disc-based media we've been stuck with for 20 years now."

Sound familiar...?
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#46
It's weird that Business Insider is publishing an article that reads like an advertisement not even based on a rumor, but on speculation. So I think either the Business Insider writer is a huge Nintendo fanboy, or Nintendo themselves are "leaking" this talk point to build up more hype for NX.

That said, as always TNE talked about it first.
 

FriedShoes

MLG
Moderator
#47

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#49
I don't understand, so is Nintendo's secret plan to get people to sell their Wii U so they'll have money to get NX? If so they got @Odo good.
Nintendo NX will just be two Wii Us duct taped together. Nintendo wants their WiiUs back so they don't have to make new ones. Also, if you would please return it in its original packing (tape included) it would be very much appreciated!
 
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