Nintendo first started using discs instead of cartridges with the GameCube in 2001, but it’s possible that they could return to cartridges with NX. Financial website Money-Link recently reported that Macronix, the company that manufactures Nintendo 3DS cartridges, is expecting a big bump in orders of ROM chips from Nintendo later this year. With Nintendo NX launching next March, Macronix expects Nintendo to place large orders in the second half of this year in order to prepare for the launch.
Because Macronix makes the cartridges used for Nintendo 3DS games, Screen Critics (who translated the Money-Link report) speculates that NX will be returning to cartridge-based games. As you may remember, Nintendo recently filed a patent for
a console that doesn’t use discs. Nintendo 3DS uses 75nm chips with up to 8GB of storage, but Macronix is currently testing out its newer line of 32nm ROM chips that can reportedly store up to 32GB, and these could potentially be used to store NX games. It’s also possible that NX will simply have internal ROM chips. As always, Nintendo is unlikely to confirm or deny this report, and it should be taken with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism.