Standard color: Fourth time’s the charm.
Special colors: Every color that came before, but in huge numbers. So many that the idea of a colored cart meant less and less as the years went on. We all know the N64 was getting trounced by the original PlayStation, so the only reason I can offer for the sudden surplus is a desperate attempt to make the games “feel” more fun by creating this rainbow of colors.
For the first time there are more colored carts than I care to show, but for the sake of “you forgot xxxx” comments, I know the following were either blue, black or red: Rally Challenge 2000, NBA Jam 2000, Tony Hawk 2, WWF No Mercy and Madden 2001. Odds are there are even more.
GAME BOY ADVANCE
Standard color: Gre… hey, they’re almost black! Let’s go with “darker grey.”
Special colors: The usual Pokemon colors (red, green, blue etc) plus a clear version for the sun-powered Boktai. I searched through a rather large list of GBA games and that’s all I could find, unless you want to count Nintendo’s “Classic NES Series,” which shipped in the standard grey cases.
Above: Back to square one
Once games moved to discs (and therefore plastic jewel/DVD cases) there was no need for colored carts. The only available option was to change the color of the actual DVD case, a practice that Nintendo and Sony mostly ignored, but Microsoft embraced with its Platinum Hits line. Instead of the usual money-green case, those titles shipped in silver cases. This, along with the whole black/green label versions of PlayStation games has created a nitpicky collector subset that poo-poos any non-standard case colors.
Funny, how colored carts were beloved and colored cases were so strongly resisted. The reasoning, silly as it is, wasn’t about the color – it was the perceived lesser value of a “Greatest Hits” version as opposed to the “real” version. That’s why last year’s New Super Mario Bros Wii was met with praise instead of dread.
New SMB Wii shipped in a bright red case from day one. Not as a greatest hits line, but as its standard appearance. In a sea of Wii white, this red actually retains the cool factor of a colored cart, bringing us full circle.
You just spent five minutes reading about plastic.
May 27, 2010
A brief history of missile rides
How we learned to stop worrying about and love gaming’s most impossibly extreme sport
The worst box art of 2009
25 of the year’s ugliest attempts at videogame packaging
Why Japanese box art is better…
…except when it’s not. Nine astounding differences between East and West