Many of our readers surely remember, at least, the Nintendo NES. Back then, cartridges were the order of the day, especially for gaming, and in this case, they were extended to some PCs (or rather CPC should we say) because it was a quick, good way. market and safe to store games. While it is true that at that time you could run games without needing internal memory in the system (that is, you could not save the game), it seems today that they could come back as “removable” SSDs on consoles.
The era of cartridges could return but… also on PC?
For a while and before the official announcement of Sony’s PS5, the possibility that both games and the storage expansion socket were covered by the use of cartridges, or more specifically SSD in the form of a cartridge with a connector, was envisaged. similar, for example, to the PCIe used by graphics cards. Despite the fact that it ultimately came to nothing, Sony’s patent in this regard is real and there is still the possibility that it will become a reality at some point because when registering a patent it does not. no doubt it was in their plans to use them. .
Something similar is true on next-gen Xbox consoles, where additional storage can be done via Seagate cartridge-shaped SSDs that literally slide out the back of the console and are ready to go. While it is true that the size of these is much smaller than that of Nintendo’s NES cartridges and rather resembles those of the Amstrad CPC 464 Plus, the fact is that they have managed to implement this technology in a modern console.
Of course, when it comes to design, it’s much easier to set up a “new” way of storage on a console than on a PC, since the console is made with specific hardware and is mass-produced. so that each and every console has this socket which allows it to expand its capacity through “SSD cartridges”.
On PC, things change, because today even optical storage media have disappeared in favor of USB storage, which is why optical drives have all but disappeared. To implement storage using cartridges in a PC, they would also have to design a unit that allows them to be inserted, read and written, which at this point seems impractical for the simple fact that it does not. not worth it when we have 4TB external hard drives and SSDs for relatively low prices.
In other words, nowadays it seems quite unlikely, if not impossible, that cartridges will return to the PC in any of its forms just because it is not worth having the USB devices that we have. , but it is a development that has taken place. -generation of consoles and, in fact, it remains to be seen whether ultimately Sony decides to publish its patent or not, as they might surprise us in the next version of their PS5 consoles.