As more information starts to trickle in about the abilities of the Nintendo 3DS as we get closer to launch, one of the things that is most interesting is that Nintendo will be embracing the fact that developers can store as much as 8GB in the cartridges that will be used by the 3DS. In addition, we are told that with a firmware update and some price drops the cartridge sizes for the 3DS could double within a year or two.
The 8GB number is significant for Nintendo, as that is almost as much as a dual-layered DVD that is used to store most DVD movies. More significant, however, is that the Xbox 360 uses a similar dual-layered DVD format that is able to store as much as 8.5GB to 8.7GB per disc; this means developers will be able to offer titles that are similar in size to that of the Xbox 360.
From the whispers we hear, initially it is expected that most titles will be released on 2GB cartridges, which is still about four times that of the standard DS cartridge (which is capped at 512MB). The 2GB mark does equal the same storage that Sony has on the PSP’s UMD disc format.
The only thing that might be going up is the price for 3DS gaming titles. It is confirmed that the development costs are going to be much higher to produce a 3DS title at 2GB than what the DS title of today requires in developmental costs. Depending on the title and the size of the title, developer sources we spoke with suggest that the price of at least some of the 3DS titles down the road are going to be more expensive than the DS titles that we see today. More content equals more development time and additional cost.