New report says Nintendo NX may use 3DS-style cards instead of discs

Add this one to the pile of evidence for Nintendo NX bridging the gap between home console and handheld: Macronix, the Taiwanese memory company that is the main manufacturer of 3DS game cards for Nintendo, seems to be very excited about the launch of NX in March 2017. It's even reportedly working on a new type of chip that could bump up their memory limit from 8 GB to 32 GB.

Japanese financial analysis site Money-Link (translated by Screen Critics) posted these findings after digging into Macronix's recent financial reports. They indicate that Macronix is expecting unusually good sales around the NX's launch window, a time that otherwise tends to be slow for the manufacturer. Macronix specifically cited Nintendo's new platform as a cause for significant orders throughout their business year.

Macronix also makes ROM chips that could be used to house NX's BIOS, the firmware used to boot up a computer before the operating system takes over. Admittedly, Nintendo would need to order a bunch of BIOS chips to get a new console ready to go, hybrid or no. But that doesn't seem like it would be quite as much cause for celebration for Macronix though, nor would it need expanded storage. Not to mention the game card idea lines up with a patent that surfaced last year, which specifically references using a "memory card".

If Nintendo is trying to make NX the best of both the handheld and home console worlds, using DS-style cards instead of optical discs would make sense. They're more expensive to manufacture than discs, but they would let Nintendo avoid the weight, power drain, and fragility of a disc drive, which would be ideal for a portable system. And though 8 GB of data would be pretty cramped for an Xbox One-quality game, 32 GB sounds quite a bit more feasible, especially if NX does more Xenoblade Chronicles X-style optional data downloads.

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Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.