The evolution of video game media

From jumper cards to hard disks, these are the cards, cartridges, and drives that have shaped the world of gaming.

The Cartridge's Last Stand

The last major mainstream home video game console to use games on ROM cartridges was 1996's Nintendo 64 (4). Critics ridiculed Nintendo's decision to stick with aging cartridges in the face of the cheaper and more capacious CD-ROM format, but Nintendo stuck to its guns over concerns about piracy. Ultimately, Nintendo paid a heavy price for its decision by losing its home console market dominance to the CD-ROM-based Sony PlayStation. After that painful episode, Nintendo -- and the market in general -- would never look back.

Key: [1] Super NES (1991), [2] Atari Jaguar (1993), [3] Sega 32X (1994), [4] Nintendo 64 (1996)

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