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

Post by Spector » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:07 pm

Remember the Starpath Supercharger from 1982-ish which loaded some games into the Atari VCS from tape. I also have a device called the Cuttle Cart which can load any Atari VCS game including homebrews from an audio source. Only takes about 10 seconds! I wonder what would have happened had that been available before the crash...
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by nokgod » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:35 pm

So why did they all end up as forgotten footnotes?
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Spector
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Spector » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:51 pm

You mean the supercharger? It did pretty well actually. They made it in 82 without Atari's permission and waited for the lawsuit that never came. It only played Starpath's games though, but some of those were really good. Then came the crash and that was it. There was never a device for the VCS for games in general at the time. If there had been, I would have maybe owned more than just Combat, Pac-Man and Empire Strikes Back! :twisted:
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by nokgod » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:59 pm

I meant cassette add ons to consoles in general, but that's interesting information as i've never heard of the Supercharger before. Got something to google now :)
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Spector
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Spector » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:18 pm

I get ya now. The truth is that the crash happened before Atari could do anything to counter/rival Starpaths baby, and afterwards you have Nintendo and Sega's machines. I'm trying to defend tapes but even so it's obvious they would be impractical for 1 megabit games and upwards.

I might have said it before, but for that incredible period in the UK between, say, 1983-1987, the tape format was just right; so much was happening that it was the only way for Joe Bloggs to take it all in without remortgaging the house! After that, it's bye bye tapes and hello floppies and carts, which of course was absolutely right.
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by nokgod » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:25 pm

yes, magnetic tape was a dovetail fit for the '80's. No self respecting kid would be without double cassette decks. :D
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by crusto » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:30 pm

^ but they were crap :P
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by nokgod » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:31 pm

crusto wrote:^ but they were crap :P
I know. I voted for carts. :wink:
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Matt_B » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:39 pm

Spector wrote:I get ya now. The truth is that the crash happened before Atari could do anything to counter/rival Starpaths baby, and afterwards you have Nintendo and Sega's machines. I'm trying to defend tapes but even so it's obvious they would be impractical for 1 megabit games and upwards.

I might have said it before, but for that incredible period in the UK between, say, 1983-1987, the tape format was just right; so much was happening that it was the only way for Joe Bloggs to take it all in without remortgaging the house! After that, it's bye bye tapes and hello floppies and carts, which of course was absolutely right.
The compact cassette has obviously had its day, but magnetic tape lives on as a storage medium. With a capacity of 2.5TB, you could get a lot of games on an LTO-6.

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

Post by Spector » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:24 pm

crusto wrote:^ but they were crap :P
Though the price of carts was crapper :P :P
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:35 pm

Spector wrote:
crusto wrote:^ but they were crap :P
Though the price of carts was crapper :P :P
And the capacity, let's not forget how much had to be cut for cart games. At least on tape we could multi load.
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by PlodMadLoon » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:36 pm

Very interesting seeing these poll results and reading the discussion. :) It has to be carts. Ultimately I think they've stood the test of time. It's ironic really, what with the haste with which the industry was willing to throw cartridges to the wolves in the end (handheld machines notwithstanding), but as a practical gaming format I think they were the best. You can't beat CD-ROMs for presentation, which is why the PS1 I gained so much traction over the N64, but I definitely think history has proven to be a lot kinder to cartridges. ;)

They had their limitations for sure, but they were certainly more reliable than anything else. CDs and DVDs can get badly damaged to the point of near unplayability (not to mention things like lasers in the machines themselves going bunk!), cassettes and discs are subject to wear, but carts are just such a durable format. Short loading times, greater reliability. It's a no-brainer from a practical standpoint.

Which leaves us with the only sticking point: the price. But then again, there are modern games released to market today in a similar top end price bracket, and they don't have the excuse of allegedly exorbitant cartridge costs to hide behind.....

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

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:13 pm

Carts aren't much more durable than tape (as already mentioned, tape is still a favoured storage medium due to its blend of cost and reliability).

How many carts have already died due to chip rot? How many have had capacitors dry out, or batteries leak,or other components fail?

As a storage format, traditional carts are a relatively complex bit of kit with plenty to go wrong.

I reckon we're around the point where more and more of these are going to start failing, just like the systems themselves.
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Re: What's best: Cartridge, CD-ROM...or cassette??

Post by The Laird » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:57 pm

In all my years of collecting and taking in to account the huge collection I have, I have never come across a cartridge that didn't work after a good clean.

However, I have lost count of how many tapes, CDs and disks I have acquired that don't work any longer.

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

Post by Matt_B » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:13 pm

I've got three carts that don't work and they've all got the same problem; the backup battery died.

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