World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Nintendo Power (cartridge)

Article Id: WHEBN0003140422
Reproduction Date:

Title: Nintendo Power (cartridge)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Famicom Naizou TV SF1, Super Nintendo Entertainment System accessories, Super Nintendo Entertainment System Game Pak, Dr. Mario
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Nintendo Power (cartridge)

Nintendo Power flash cartridges for Super Famicom and Game Boy

The Nintendo Power (Japanese: ニンテンドーパワー Hepburn: Nintendō Pawā) flash RAM cartridge is a Japan-only peripheral which was produced by Nintendo for the Super Famicom and the Game Boy. The now defunct service allowed owners to download Super Famicom and Game Boy games onto a special flash memory cartridge for a lower price than that of the full cartridge.

A similar system of rewritable kiosk distribution had previously been used with the Famicom Disk Writer kiosks of the 1980s. Nintendo deployed another dynamic flash storage subsystem on the Satellaview peripheral of the late 1990s, for delivering a different set of unique Super Famicom games via the now defunct St.GIGA satellite network. In 2003, Nintendo launched another game delivery kiosk network for the iQue Player in China.[1]

Design

During the days of the Family Computer, Nintendo developed the Disk System, a disk drive expansion for the Famicom with expanded RAM which allows players to use rewritable disk media called "disk cards". The system was relatively popular, but suffered from issues of limited capacity. However, Nintendo did see the market for an economical rewritable medium due to the popularity of the Disk System. The Nintendo Power cartridges address the issue of potential copyright infringement by the fact that they are highly proprietary and more difficult for illicit duplication, as opposed to being a somewhat more commoditized medium like the floppy disk. The limited capacity issue was addressed by maximizing the size of the flash memory in the cartridge to 4 megabytes (32 megabits), the largest amount used by the vast majority of Super Famicom games.

Each cartridge's flash RAM is divided internally into eight blocks. Unless an 8-block game is loaded onto the cartridge, however, one block is reserved for the game selection menu, leaving only seven blocks for games. In addition, each cartridge has a small amount of SRAM for game saves, which is divided into sixteen blocks. Games are rounded up in capacity; for example, a 10 megabit Super Famicom game needs three flash RAM blocks totaling 12 megabits, and a Game Boy game that needs 100 kilobits of save space would need two SRAM blocks totaling 128 kilobits. The system does have one limitation: games that utilize a special chip (such as the Super FX) cannot be placed on the Nintendo Power cartridge, as the required chip is not present.

Usage

The flash writer at a Nintendo Power kiosk in a convenience store
The flash writer at a Nintendo Power kiosk for adding games to flash cartridges

A user would first purchase the RAM cartridge itself, then bring it to a store which had a Nintendo Power copier. The player would select games to be copied to the cartridge. In addition, the store would provide the purchaser with a printed copy of the manual for the game. Game prices varied, with older titles being relatively cheap, and newer titles and Nintendo Power exclusives being more expensive.

Specifications

Super Famicom

MSRP - ¥3,980

  • Onboard flash RAM (for game data) - 32 megabits total (4 megabits/block x 8 blocks)
  • Onboard SRAM (for game saves) - 256 kilobits total (16 kilobits/block x 16 blocks)

Game Boy

MSRP - ¥2,500

  • Onboard flash RAM (for game data) - 8 megabits total (1 megabit/block x 8 blocks)
  • Onboard SRAM (for game saves) - 1024 kilobits total (64 kilobits/block x 16 blocks)

See also

References

  1. ^

External links

  • Nintendo Corporation Ltd. Nintendo Power website (in Japanese)


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.