You’re playing your favorite game by yourself, and save after a stressful boss fight. You get up from the couch, and go change out the game disc to a more easy-going game to unwind. A few minutes later, your friend comes over to play, so you get up, swap out the game disc for something you can play together, and sit back down. After maybe an hour, your friend asks to see that first game, so you get back up, switch game discs for the third time, and go back to your couch.
Video game consoles have made immense quality of life improvements over the last few years. Wireless controllers, online play, and digital downloads have all made the gaming experience so much easier. Don’t want to get controller cords tangled up? You got it. Want to play Super Smash Bros. but your friends are in another state? No problem. You want to buy that new game, but it’s sold out at GameStop AND Best Buy? Download it, no biggy.
So why isn’t there a way to fit more than one physical game in a console at a time?
I first had this thought when considering buying Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch. The game is only sold physically, due to the accessories needed to play. I borrowed it from a friend for about a week, and while the game was fun, I hated how if I wanted a quick 20 minute workout, I’d have to dig through my Switch games, open the little game card cover, swap out the cartridges, then repeat the process when I was finished to go back to whichever game I had been playing before. I was hoping to play Ring Fit Adventure each day to build up an exercise habit, but the idea of needing to constantly swap cartridges was so tedious that I never ended up buying the game for myself.
I primarily play Nintendo Switch, but I mentioned my experience with Ring Fit Adventure recently to one of my friends, who’s been trying to bounce back and forth between Elden Ring and Horizon: Forbidden West on his PlayStation 5. He’ll play Elden Ring until he gets stuck at a particular fight, then he’ll swap and play Horizon for a few hours, then swap back to Elden Ring. Rinse, wash, repeat. My friend is a collector, so he made sure to get physical copies of both games, meaning he’s constantly getting up and swapping game discs around.
When my friend and I were talking about this, he brought up multi-disc cd players, which allow someone to alternate between five or six different albums without needing to eject the discs and dig around for their cases. These multi-disc cd players are pretty large, as you’d expect, but pretty effective at what they do.
So imagine if consoles had a feature like this. Say you’re currently playing through the upcoming Kirby and the Forgotten Land, but also want to make sure that you’re checking in daily on your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Or maybe you know that you’ll always be up for a game of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate no matter where you are. None of these are issues if you buy your games digitally, but what about us who buy physical copies? Why must we suffer?
So why haven’t game consoles been doing this? First, having room for more discs or game cartridges means adding more bulk to your console. While consoles like the PlayStation 5 are already pretty big, companies might not want their consoles to be any bigger than they need to be. And for instances like the Nintendo Switch, the whole point of the system is that it’s meant to be carried around with you, and adding another game card slot might make the system a bit too bulky for that intended purpose.
Another reason could simply be pricing. Multi-disc cd players are expensive, and so would a similar technology in a video game console. With some systems already being incredibly pricey (remember when the GameCube was $200 at launch?), some players who intend to only buy digital might see this as an unnecessary price increase for a feature they’ll never use.
I know this sounds like an incredibly lazy complaint, because didn’t we all do this just 20 years ago on systems like the GameCube and PlayStation 2? Yes, but we also needed to sit six feet from the tv screen to play a game 20 years ago too. With video game companies constantly looking for ways to add quality of life improvement to their consoles, a change like this just makes sense to me.
The gaming world is becoming increasingly more friendly toward digital gaming, but us playing physical games aren’t going anywhere. While maybe not every console could include a way to fit more than one physical game, it would be nice to have the option for something like a “Nintendo Switch Pro” or the inevitable “PlayStation 6.”
What do you think? Would a feature like this be something you would use? Or should I just get off my couch and just swap out my Switch cartridges like a caveman? Let us know in a comment below, or hop on over and tell us yourself on the Boss Rush Discord.
Image Source: MyNintendoNews.com
Brad Melville is a junior writer for Boss Rush Network. Brad is a huge fan of video games, and loves relaxing with some TV or a nice movie when he can. Some of his favorite video games are Banjo-Kazooie, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Breath of the Wild. You can follow him on Twitter, where you can find him ranting about superheroes, complaining about tv shows, or hear his hot takes about Nintendo.