What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

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What's your favourite medium for games?

Poll ended at Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:58 pm

Cartridges
30
60%
CD-ROM
9
18%
3.5 Floppy
5
10%
Cassettes
6
12%
Printed Card (Magnavox Odyssey)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 50

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Spector
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What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Spector » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:38 pm

Last night on the IRC chatroom there was a heated argument about what the best format was for playing games, taking into account the context of playing them in that particular decade. Cassettes were dirt cheap, and you could build up ludicrously large collections of games through piracy, but they took 3-5 mins to load; 128K games often took 10 minutes! Carts were much more durable, loaded instantly and looked great, but cost £30-50 and you would never be able to copy them. CD-ROM gave the most space while costing less than carts,but were pretty flimsy and scratches could ruin them easily.

During last nights argument, myself, markopoloman and Quazar were definitely in favour of cassettes, others seemed to prefer carts despite the ludicrous costs, while Katzkatz ignored all options and went for floppy disks :mrgreen: . We almost came to blows over this, so I decided to get a broader view on this forum. Remember - I'm not asking which is technically the best- because obviously that's cartridges- but what is best in terms of from a practical and economic sense as well as desirability.

So, which one is it?
Last edited by Spector on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by The Laird » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:42 pm

Carts - no question.

Something very lovely and very collectable about them, plus they never stop working.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:52 pm

Anything except carts. Too expensive, limited storage space, and almost impossible to copy. I could never conceive of anyone owning a cart system as their main gaming machine.

Tapes and floppies have a certain nostalgia to them (and load times aren't an issue if you own more than one system - just play another while you wait), but CD hit that sweet spot between load speed, capacity and copyability.

But not GD-ROM ;)
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by IronMaidenRule » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:43 pm

CD-ROM is what tipped my decision between a PS1 and N64 in the 90's, bigger capacity with better Audio/FMV.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Matt_B » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:53 pm

Definitely floppy discs!

Well, they were cheaper than cartridges while almost as fast, and just as easy to *ahem* back up as tapes while being much more reliable. I suppose things got a bit ridiculous in the early 90s when you started to need dozens of them for individual games though; it's just a shame that succeeding technologies like the Zip drive never took off and we ended up with distinctly inferior optical discs.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:08 pm

cd rom the best

cassettes were good too

carts are awful

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by outdated_gamer » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:46 pm

The Laird wrote:Carts - no question.

Something very lovely and very collectable about them, plus they never stop working.
I agree. Cartridges were the best video game medium, imo. The problem was just that they were so dang expensive. And btw, the N64 going with carts was a conscious, deliberate decision. I've been thinking about it and came to the conclusion that no matter how you look at it, the N64 was destined to be a cartridge system, for better or worse.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Matt_B » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:58 pm

Yes, cartridges were clearly better, but not to the extent that they were worth paying two or three times the price for, and we were usually looking at that sort of premium. On pretty much any system that also offered tapes and/or discs they just didn't get a look-in, for obvious reasons.

And the CD-Rom was really just the cassette tape of the 90s; newer technology, but the same strengths and weaknesses.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by outdated_gamer » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:07 pm

Matt_B wrote: And the CD-Rom was really just the cassette tape of the 90s; newer technology, but the same strengths and weaknesses.
I think you mean the successor of the floppy. :wink:

Tapes were cheap but they had aweful loading times and weren't exactly durable either. I get the nostalgia for them but they just weren't a good video game medium, imo... :wink:

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by clarance » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:09 pm

Cassettes - by far the most reliable medium as far as I'm concerned - I have well over five-hundred cassette tapes, maybe one or two that have problems - usually down to some kind of physical damage - Disks, especially 3.5" ones, less reliable, CDs have the habit of getting scratched much too frequently and carts are OK if you don't mind failing battery saves, cleaning contacts and blowing on them...
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by The Laird » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Matt_B wrote:Yes, cartridges were clearly better, but not to the extent that they were worth paying two or three times the price for, and we were usually looking at that sort of premium. On pretty much any system that also offered tapes and/or discs they just didn't get a look-in, for obvious reasons.
Except for the Atari 8-bit, obviously :wink:

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by crusto » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:19 pm

I hate cassettes due to their long load times and all round unreliability. I hate floppy discs for similar reasons, except load times (obviously!). I cannot stand BD/DVD/CD-Rom because of the noise they generate and how easily damaged they are. But they are the most cost effective option.

Carts will always be my favourite, due to their robustness and instant load properties. Such a pity that they are too costly. I would happily pay more for a cart over a disc though, up to a tenner more, before I start to winge..
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Matt_B
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Matt_B » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:21 pm

The Laird wrote:
Matt_B wrote:Yes, cartridges were clearly better, but not to the extent that they were worth paying two or three times the price for, and we were usually looking at that sort of premium. On pretty much any system that also offered tapes and/or discs they just didn't get a look-in, for obvious reasons.
Except for the Atari 8-bit, obviously :wink:
Well, it did have the worst cassette implementation of any 8-bit. Still, even then there are just over a hundred games on cartridge versus several thousand on cassette.

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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by crusto » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:22 pm

Hey Spector, get a poll going. :o
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Matt_B » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:26 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
Matt_B wrote: And the CD-Rom was really just the cassette tape of the 90s; newer technology, but the same strengths and weaknesses.
I think you mean the successor of the floppy. :wink:
No, of the tape. Both were designed for storing audio and, while cheap and capacious, were far from optimal for data.

I mentioned it before, but the successor to floppies were systems like the Iomega Zip, Floptical and LS-120. Unfortunately, none of them took off and we had to suffer comparatively slow, fragile and unreliable optical media instead.

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