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Nintendo could be about to do something utterly brilliant with their new console

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Best get working on your lung capacity - a whole new generation of cartridge games might need a good blowing. 

Nintendo is currently hard at work on its secretive new console, the NX. Set to release in March 2017, it's garnered a number of outlandish rumours: it'll ditch motion controls for a screen-based controller. It'll mix portable gaming with a home-based console. It'll link with smartphone games and apps.

But now the most bizarre whisper of the bunch has put a new slant on the machine: it could see Nintendo return to using cartridges instead of discs.

The notion stems from a financial report from a long-standing Nintendo partner Macronix, which manufactures all of the ROM chips for Nintendo's 3DS handheld games. Screen Critics picked up on a report from Japanese Financial website Money-Link that suggests the chip maker will see profits grow when the NX arrives simultaneously in Japan, America and Europe.

"ROM’s sales [are] expected to increase in the latter half of this year, and it will have a large growth potential", writes the report. 

Macronix is apparently set to start a new 32 GB ROM chip production line, which is explicitly linked to Nintendo's new console. The size of the implied growth points toward the chips being used in for software - the games - rather than being incorporated into the main build of the console.  

"But why?" you ask. Nintendo ditched cartridge console games back in 2001, why go back now? Well, the NX could be a much smaller, sleeker console without the need for a disc-reading optical drive, lending further weight to the notion of it being a portable console. It could also allow Nintendo to offer an improved patch support for new released games.

Sure, it's a lot of "ifs" and "maybes", but Nintendo has a season history in doing things differently. We can't wait to see what they're tinkering away on. 

[Via: Screen Critics, Ars Technica]

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