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30 Retro Rumors
Nintendo Will Introduce 32-Bit Super NES Cartridge (Retro Rumors #17)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2015   |   Episode 17 (Show Archive)  

Welcome to 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors, a brand new series that will run daily between November 26 and December 25, 2015. This is a series where we debunk some of the craziest rumors and predictions of all time. Today we're taking a look at Nintendo's plan to release a 32-bit cartridge for the Super NES. Die Hard Game Fan has the scoop in today's episode of 30 Ridiculous Retro Rumors.

This is a real rumor taken directly from the August 1993 issue of Die Hard Game Fan ...

Two years after announcing the existence of the Super NES CD, Nintendo had yet to set any concrete release plans. This led many in the press to wonder if Nintendo had scrapped the device entirely, instead choosing to focus their attention on the inevitable next-generation console. Unsure how to cover the story, Die Hard Game Fan decided to just make a bunch of stuff up. The result is a 32-bit cartridge loaded with a gigabyte of inexpensive memory.

Seeing the success of Star Fox and Nintendo's Super FX chip, it's easy to see where this rumor comes from. The idea of modifying a cartridge to make the aging 16-bit hardware more powerful suddenly seemed feasible, so why not run with this idea. But like all the worst predictions, Die Hard Game Fan can't help but embellish to the point absurdity.

Forget the increased cost associated with adding more RAM and a 32-bit CPU to each cartridge, the big red flag in this rumor is the 1 GB of memory. It's important to remember that this was an era when Super NES games were coming on cartridges ranging from 1 to 4 MB. Even the system's largest games -- Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean -- only used 6 MB. The idea that Nintendo could somehow increase the size of the cartridge by 2500% without sharply raising prices was a pipe dream.

Die Hard Game Fan's defense of this make-believe plan is equally absurd. The editor spends half the rumor pretending that cartridges are the perfect medium. They don't skip, you can't scratch them, there aren't a lot of moving parts and there's less loading. That's great and all, but I don't want to take out a mortgage on my home to buy a 1 GB Super NES cartridge.


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