Last year in Japan, Nintendo released an add-on device for its Famicom home system (the NES in America) called the Famicom Disk System. It allows for games to be purchased on computer disks instead of cartridges to save consumers money. The games have extra features, like enhanced music and the ability to write data to the disk to continue the game at a later time. One of the games that launched alongside it almost a year ago was Hyrule Fantasy, a swords and sorcery adventure game from the creator of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros., Mr. Miyamoto.
That same game was shown at the CES show in Las Vegas, except it’s now called The Legend of Zelda and will be coming stateside on a Game Pak instead of a disk. Since the adventure will take many hours to complete, Nintendo needed to come up with a way to allow gamers to save their progress. They came up with the idea to put a battery inside the game cartridge, which will trick the game into thinking it was never shut off. This will enable longer quest-like games to be come out for the NES without a need for a disk system. Nintendo still didn’t rule out the possibility of releasing a disk peripheral in the United States, but for now they’re going to continue to build up their cartridge library.
Will more games come out with the battery back-up technology? Nintendo isn’t saying one way or the other, but we are hearing that The Legend of Zelda will have a higher suggested retail price because of the added cost of the battery and the length of the game. It’s scheduled to come out this spring!