The PlayStation had a CD drive back in 1995-the Nintendo 64, its main competitor, never really got away from its ROM cartridges(lets leave the 64DD alone, for now). But why? ROM cartridges cost much more than CD ROM’s, and have a much lower storage capacity…why did Nintendo stick to them, then.

A few of you may still recall the battle that I had with the PlayStation portable a few weeks ago-the incredible loading times just drove me mad. The loading times were caused my two things-first of all, by the PSP developer’s idiocy, and secondary, by the UMD CD media used.

The data of the ROM cartridge directly goes into the system memory, sort of like a RAM upgrade directly sits itself on ‘top’ of your system’s memory region. Thus, the data contained on a cartridge can be read immediately(as if it were in RAM, or almost as fast); while data on a CD needs to be searched slowly(the head needs to find the track, and the data needs to pass by it).

The impact of speed is direct. Imagine our pyjama party once again. Joe Schmoe currently waits to duel Patty in binge drinking, and wants to waste some time gaming. For him, having to wait 2 minutes for loading is not acceptable, just as advertising pauses in TV movies are annoying.

Of course, this isn’t true everywhere. A gamer who expects to fight his buddy for three hours(Warcraft 3 matches, for example) has no problems waiting for a minute. But a gamer who just wants to kill off a few minutes of time feels definitely feels a minute of loading time.

Casual gamers usually don’t play for more than a few minutes btw-and as we already know, one doesn’t live especially well off pro-gamers!

Stay tuned-next part coming soon!

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