News Article

3DS Game Cards Could Reach a Mighty 8GB

Posted by James Newton

So expect huge games

The new-style cartridges used by 3DS may look similar to those you currently slot into your DS, but they're actually bigger, on the inside at least.

Manufacturer Macronix has confirmed that the game cartridges will start at 1GB capacity and run all the way up to a massive 8GB of storage, a huge increase over the DS, which currently offers 512MB as its largest available cartridge.

Of course, only exceptionally expansive games will fill an 8GB cartridge, considering the vast majority of Wii games fit onto standard 4.7GB DVDs.

What's your bet for the first game to hit the 8GB milestone on 3DS?


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User Comments (107)



King_Boo said:

I don't see a single game filling up 8 gigs, but say mario kart gets DLC support, I'd be one happy camper to get what could be triple or more the tracks and battle areas that the game starts with, maybe even missions and new modes.



Sonic1994CD said:

Wow just think of the games there going to make on it. New Super Mario Bros 3DS I bet!



JustYourAverageBleh said:

This is pretty cool. Considering it takes two types of images, the game will inevitably be larger in size. If I remember correctly, didn't a game for the Nintendo DS had a larger capacity? The one where you can download songs? I vaguely remember.



Drewciffer said:

There's no way any game is going to hit the 8Gb mark! But I like to think Nintendo is setting an impossible goal to get developers revved up even more!



TrevorTheChan said:

Given that the development of 3DS games could cost as much as Wii games and triple that of current DS games, we'll probably see a lot of DS-standard games and therefore games that will barely stretch the limits of the 1GB cartridges. Then again, if anti-piracy measures are as good as they make it out to be, developers (especially the smaller ones) could see a much bigger return on their titles, thus more inclined to make bigger and intricate games.



Oregano said:

@JustYourAverageBleh: For in game stuff you don't need double the assets because it's the same assets but from a different viewpoint. It works like spltscreen,

For movies you need two lots of stuff though but you can save a lot of space with compression.



KrazyKain said:

wow, really hoping to see some elder scrolls size (and quality) open games for the 8gig ones.



shadownin said:

The 6th pokemon generation games will probably be the first to use the 8 GB card. Just think about it 750 3D models of all the Pokemon in a fully 3D world all with higher quality voice files and animations. On the technical side pokemon battle revolutions which has 493 3D pokemon and has a file size of 4 GB and that doesn't include an adventure. Add 250 more pokemon and that is probably one more GB, high quality voice acting, and music adds another GB that adds up to 6 GB. The other 2 GB would be used for the world and other character models plus extra storage to hold all your old pokemon in the PC box which would store more pokemon then any PC before it. Take note that these are all estimates and some parts will take more or less storage then stated but the game should come close to 8 GB if they make it as I have described.



Slapshot said:

I can't wait for 3DS! I want Cave Story in 3D

8gb games on a handheld sounds really promising. I really hope Nintendo is pulling out all stops with 3DS, and I don't care how high the price!



komicturtle said:

Smash Bros. 3DS filled with as much if maybe more content than Brawl confirmed

Least, I hope hope haha



Knux said:

Oh YES, just imagine the potential with that much game card space!



Markystal said:

With that kind of space the possibilities are limitless. Now Sqeenix mmight have some more room for, well, I don't know, how about Final fantasy 5 and 6 remakes! FF 6 would be awesome and most of us who don't import or read Japanese haven't even played 5!



ADaviii said:

Could this mean that the CD is on it's way out the window!?!

lol, just kidding

But still, I can't wait for 3DS to come out. It's going to be so cool to play and I'm sure the games on it will be just as good (if not better) than what's on the current DS! And trust me, I LOOOOVE my DS games .



GamesX99 said:

1. I bet it will be a big game like a new super Mario or a smash bros. for the DS!
2. With a larger memory means less people will be able to pirate games



Corbs said:

I remember hearing that possibility in LA during E3 and thinking that there was no way they'd offer up 8GB of cart storage. Guess that's what I get for thinking.



Objection said:

Btw, there ARE a few DS carts that go up to 2GB, like A.S.H. and one other (both Japan-only IIRC.) But for the most part, DS uses the 512MB mentioned.

Anyway, first game to fill the 8GB? Ace Attorney Vs. Layton. Don't like my guess? Overruled~!



gblock said:

32. ItsAD3 United States 18 Dec 2010, 18:47 GMT

Could this mean that the CD is on it's way out the window!?!

lol, just kidding

Actually you're not too far off. With the ever falling prices of flash technology, I wouldn't be surprised to see the next generation of movie players to go to solid state/flash devices instead of optical media (CDs/DVDs/Blu Ray). Probably gonna be another decade before we see a start to a transition though...



Nintendophile said:

Nintendo had mentioned the possibility of wanting to release full-length 3D movies for the system. I'd imagine films could utilize that extra storage capacity. (Though I don't know about filling the full 8.)



The_Fox said:

Just keep in mind that the 3D nature of the games probably eats up a LOT of space.



Chrono_Cross said:

I cant think of any game that could eat up all that space besides collections of games, and Super Smash Bros.



theblackdragon said:

@metakirbyknight: considering most DVDs come packed with extras, I could see them being able to fit a bare-bones movie (with maybe subtitles and a couple different language tracks and that's it) into that kind of space no problem.



Link-Hero said:

Wow, that’s amazing.

The only type of game I see that could possibly fill up the 8GB card is an RPG game that has a huge open world with everything in 3D graphics and tons of voice acting for all of the main characters. But even that probably wouldn’t be able to fill up all that space.



skywake said:

3D video on Blu-Ray has a 1.5x overhead so I would assume video on the 3DS (cutscenes or movies) would have the same problem. Not that it would be much of a space problem at all with even 1GB considering the resolution of the screen. Excluding movies (which I really hope they don't try to ship on cartridges) the only video you will be putting on a cartridge is for cutscenes. If a game needs that many cutscenes that it turns into a full movie then I won't be buying it. I'm looking at you Metal Gear!

If they are doing this for the 3DS my hopes for a cartridge based Wii successor are revived. Why would you use optical disks when you can have zero moving parts, no noise, low access times and fast read speeds without sacrificing too much capacity? How many Wii games needed more than even a single layer disk? How many 360 games couldn't fit within a 8.5GB dual layer DVD?

And no, capacity of disks isn't a measure of the power of the system. You can have a i7 with 8GB RAM and 4 high end GPUs with only a CD ROM and a 40GB SSD... but it will perform heaps better than an Atom with integrated graphics, a blu-ray burner and multiple 2TB drives in RAID.



GamerZack87 said:

Could you imagine an MMO on the 3DS? With the added storage space it's possible to make a small-medium-sized MMO with a good number of options!



BulbasaurusRex said:

I'll cast my vote for the next Super Smash Bros. game. Brawl is already a dual-layered Wii game, so add more characters and stages, bump up the graphics and add the 3D effects, put in whatever other little additions they want to add for this installment, and include a much more complete online system, and you'll get pretty close to 8 GB.



Kid_A said:

So what you're telling me is that Animal Crossing 3DS is going to be massively epic?



Angaran said:

I think Metal gear solid 3 is going to be huge and I also heard it was going to be a launch game for the system



fishman100 said:

Damn, 8 gigs??

After I play the 3DS for a while and go back to the DSi I'll be saying "wow, these games are short!'



GammaGames said:

If they add lots of new features to Animal Crossing 3DS I would say that could be 8GB I think. I hope they do that for AC3DS



triforceofcourage said:

Devs will only use a full 8GB for huge sellers if at all. i think 3 GB is probably a reasonable estimate for most games. Oh yeah, and posibly console ports.



SwerdMurd said:

8 gigs would be quite nice....given how much PSP games can already do with 1.whatever gigs....8 is pretty much a dual-layered DVD...that said, given that it isn't quite as strong as the Wii, I doubt many games (except in cases of 3D FMV-heavy games) are even gonna come close.



WiiLovePeace said:

@ 38. Objection_Blaster - A.S.H is 2 Gb not 2 GB hence it's really only 256MB. Check here:

As for the 8GB cartridge, hells yes. I imagine movies will probably be download only & hence the cart size isn't for them. Don't know why people are mentioning DVDs, the 3DS screen is a lot smaller than a TV hence compression & video quality will be way smaller as any better quality than what needs to be seen on the 3DS screen will be seen as waste (the reason why the DSi camera is of low quality). In any case it's not the size that matters but the quality of the games themselves that really count people! In any case bring on the 3DS!



Token_Girl said:

Yeah, I see some 3D Final Fantasies too. I also look forward to the possibility for DLC with large carts. It's the perfect medium, since the DLC wouldn't need to be stored on the system itself. Great for patching games too! Hopefully we'll start to see some of that from Nintendo when things go wrong (but not them deciding to lower their quality standards and release a game half finished and half broken for release date buyers to beta-test and then spend twice as much to get all the levels, it sounds like they'll be pricy enough already).



astarisborn94 said:

It'll probably be one of the later games in the Nintendo 3DS lifespan before the ninth gen begins.

Still excited for the possibility of it. Come on Nintendo, make it happen!



zeeroid said:

DLC should hopefully be stored on the game card now. All they'd have to do is when you buy it, it "unlocks" it on your particular system (or, preferably, a hypothetical user account). This would be fantastic. I'm also going to be expecting a lot more games that are fully voiced, among other things that tend to take up physical space. More elaborate cinematics, perhaps, although I do encourage those to be rendered in real time whenever possible. Whatever happens, this is great news!



Nintendoftw said:

Stop saying the 3D will take up space. 3D doesn't take up space, it takes up PROCESSING POWER.



AVahne said:

Lemme guess, a new Final Fantasy spin-off that is 60+ hours and is 75% cutscene.



rubbernec320 said:

If they ever have a super smash bros for the 3DS(which is the perfect time Nintendo) it'll probably get close to 8GB considering the expansive amount of data brawl had.



Bassman_Q said:

Yeah I think a 3D, fully-voiced Final Fantasy game would be the most memory-taking game. PS1 Final Fantasies take up well over a Gig in memory. Imagine what they could do with Eight Gigs!



MasterGraveheart said:

I'd still like to see a remastered Final Fantasy VII on 3DS. I think that game in particular, with the likes of Midgar, the one bridge they cross, and some of the caves, would look SPECTACULAR on the 3DS.

Don't tell me it can't happen because Sony published it. Yeah, they published it... on the PS1. Eidos published it on PC and SquareEnix did it themselves on PSN.

Although, I woudln't be particularly heartbroken if we just got Final Fantasy XV. =P

...if they turn it around from the debacle that was FFXIII...



SuperLink said:

Wowy kazowie! What kind of games can they produce that utilize that much memory?!?!?!



djosh444 said:

Thats a gd idea cuz it means that if say mariokart is 5GB with online, then u might be able to download new tracks/updates in da future, making the game much better, instead of always being the same size, u have 3GB for extras



MeloMan said:

I can only hope... maybe one day I'll actually play FF games beyound 6.

About the article, I thought DS games could do 1 gig easy, but I was wrong about that. 8GB huh? Yeah, I'm thinking it's a given that it will be a RPG, with FF at the top of that list.



Ren said:

thats great news. It won't happen for a while but it's better to be safe than barely ready for whats to come, which is how they usually play it.
It also means room for 3rd parties to do some crazy things if they want without so much wrestling with compression. Less compressed music is always nice, video clips, and other neat software from who knows where.
even cheesy 3rd party stuff that should be easy to produce, but fails due to bad compression will be nice to have; not that I'm saying they should encourage shovelware, but some of that can be convenient. i.e. cooking stuff thats loaded with lots of nice still pics, encyclopedia type of stuff with lots of less compressed materials, music software. Classic game collections with lots of content and unlockable videos.
The more room there is the more interesting multimedia content you can add even in boring old 2D. (without all the pixelated blur). Plus what about the idea of hooking up to an actual monitor? Everything will have to be pretty hi-res for that to be worthwhile, and I could see that being a real option since this may be their next platform for a couple years until some new "Wii" thing is ready.



SmaMan said:

Welcome to the next level!

I think this would be a great time to make that all 6 generations Pokemon thing I've suggested numerous times... all 750+ Pokemon in all six continents all combined! And maybe even make it an MMO. Yesh!



Capt_N said:

@Zaphod: Nintendo, & most devs probably wont use the whole 8 gigs.

@triforceofcourage: I have a feeling you're right.

@Token Girl: If N uses the space for patching, it will probably be only for making the game code more unfriendly when used in emulators, & more difficult for pirates to copy the code. This stands to potentially make the games more bloated w/ useless-to-gameplay overhead, especially considering Nintendo's poor Wii programming practices(read: programming code) I often hear they implement into the Wii as piracy counter-measures, & what-not.
If they start patching a game w/ (game-centric) updates, they will probably start releasing games as you have said, or start doing something really uncool ~ Staring a trend of making the retail games themselves be so little in content (by their stand-alone selves), &/or quality, & making lots of expensive dlc for the games. This(the possibility of dlc) also has a nasty side effect of pooling devs(especially lazy devs) efforts from games that aren't profitable(despite whether the games themselves are good, or not), to games that are profitable(that may be complete junk games, but still sell well to a/some market(s)) for whatever/that co.

@everyone else: On the other hand, Nintendo may just be trying to win over devs/pubs w/ tech specs. Nintendo knows that they have basically had few challenges in the handheld market. Since the Wii is slowing down sales-wise, & the next console, or @ least it's announcment, is probaby around the next 1-2yr. corner, Nintendo would obviously want to shift their focus to more sturdy/known-to-be-relativly-safe-for-them-finacial-grounds. Their current-gen console (Wii, of course), is taking a beating from a portion of the market, & a portion of devs/pubs too, due to weak tech capabilities. Also, considering most devs don't seem to want to work around the Wii's bottlenecks. So, Nintendo either: A. Shows their next system's power, & end up never fully utilizing it, or B. performs A, except they will fully utilize the tech tey flaunt.

As for Mario/Metroid/Zelda/Smash, considering what I've seen of the 3DS, we'll probably have more ports/remakes, than just Ocarina. A Smash I'd be down w/, if they got both the gameplay, & online right. As it is though, I have yet to ever even play multiplayer DS titles. I hope getting online w/ the 3DS isn't a chore, extremely expensive, or just too unconventional in the bottleneck, or frustrating sense of the word.



Codyshelby said:

I don't think it will be a Zelda game OR an Animal Crossing game.

If you think about the size of these games for the wii, you realize they're small.

Zelda TP for wii was about 1.2 GB

Animal Crossing City Folk was about 400mb (.4gb)

So i doubt it's either of those.



ianmage1 said:

@ Nintendo-Naut
Yes indeed. In a Nintendo Power interview with Nomura, Nomura stated that the game will be on par with the numbered titles. Kingdom Hearts 3D will probably be loaded with cutscenes, like the numbered titles; because of DS's small cartridge size, 358/2 days only had about 20 cutscenes, while the numbered titles have hundreds of cutscenes. I really hope that Kingdom Hearts 3D will have the great quality of the numbered titles.



HeroOfTime007 said:

This 8GB card, as others have pointed out, will not be filled by much. Look at the Wii's Dual Layer Games List of Wii Duel Layer Games Metroid Other M, dual layered for High quality textures and cut-scenes; Metroid Prime Trilogy, dual layered because its 3 separate games; Samurai Warriors 3, not sure about this one but maybe for cut-scenes; Super Smash Bros Brawl, dual layered because of its soundtrack and cut scenes, without the cut-scenes and music it could easily be 4gb; Rayman Raving Rabbids Party Collection, no idea again; Sakura Wars So Long, My Love, cut-scenes, many CG stills and a lot of voice work. Few games on the 360 use over 6GB and only some Sony titles on the PS3 use the blu-ray space, and even there sometimes it was cut scenes. The games on the 3DS that will reach 7 or over will be mostly story driven games like RPG's with a lot of prerendered or perhaps animated cut-scenes, massive games like Fallout 3/NewVegas or Oblivion, and games with overall a lot of content like Pokemon. Also I doubt that DLC and such could even be safely downloaded to your card. Also will larger games load slower or can the 3DS handle it? Larger games on the DS take 60% longer to save/load.



Jr-Joe said:

Maybe a mmorpg pokemon game with all generations of pokemon, extremely large levels, wii like graphics and a huge music library. I hardly play pokemon games but this is what came to mind. This game would sell like hotcakes but it most likely will never happen.



realar said:

SWiiT! Mucho large games!
Great news for Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, and Kirby!



Shirma_Akayaku said:

there are pros and cons about this
Pros Cons
8 GB :stronger,fast,better. Not likely to happen.
More storage more games. Can take up a lot of batter power.
Many game choices. Higher prices.
Outcome: Let's wait and see.



KiroX777 said:

@2 no brawl is 8GB, 3DS is better lookin visually with graphics too. that i think of it. smash bros 3DS would look SEXY with all 8GB used... and passby mode!! wat?!! ill be smacking everyone in my area. we need a good online like a facebookish typa xbox live so people will stay addicted to the smash.



Retrogamer88 said:

i am so glad that they will have the memory to create epic sized games for a portable system,maybe they will make another final fantasy tactics game or another front mission game that can take up all 8GB,or maybe a protable final fantasy online game!



kenzo said:

The beauty of the game cartridge slot is that it could be used for interfacing ANYTHING. It could be software or hardware - the sky is the limit,

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