We show you two interesting images that show the machinery that Nintendo uses to check the quality of Nintendo Switch cartridges.
Nintendo Switch is the only one of the big three console manufacturers that tstill uses cartridges. In fact, it has never stopped using them: from the Famicom/NES, the company’s first console with interchangeable cartridges, to the Switch.
Although, technically, since the Nintendo DS they are called “game cards“, and those of Switch are little bigger than an SD card, we continue to call them cartridges. It is, in any case, a proprietary technology, only used by them, unlike PlayStation or Xbox Blu-Ray discs.
That implies that Nintendo must customize its production chain to launch its games. Brazilian Nintendo journalist Necro Felipe has shared two images that you’ve almost certainly never seen before.
Pra gallery that likes curiosities:
In figure 1 we have a robotic machine for the inspection of each two cartridges manufactured by Nintendo
Figure 2, a machine developed by Nintendo itself for manual checking of two cartridges pic.twitter.com/8Jp3darhBY
— Necro Felipe 💉• #SwitchBrasil (@necrolipe) January 14, 2022
The first image shows a robotic chain in charge of inspecting all the cartridges. The second image is even more interesting, because it shows a machine created by Nintendo itself which manually checks the integrity of the cartridges.
The use of cartridges is essential for a portable console, although as it happened with the GameCube, which also used its own storage system for games (the strange mini-DVDs), it brings some drawbacks.
The main one is the size. Switch cartridges come in sizes ranging from 1GB to 32GB although very few games have come to use the latter (only The Witcher 3 in the West). most companies they prefer to make smaller cartridges, and therefore cheaper, but forcing the consumer to download part of the game later.
A recent example is Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collectio, which has three games, but only one will be included on the cartridge: the others must be downloaded.
The 64 GB cartridges were planned at one time, but Nintendo seems to have lost interest. Maybe for Nintendo Switch 2?
We started by saying that Nintendo was the only one of the Big Three that was still using cartridges… but it’s not the only company in the video game industry that is still producing cartridges.
Atari continues to release cartridges for its Atari VCS and even some compatible with Atari 2600, and the same will happen with Intellivision Amico when it is released hopefully in 2022.