GBメモリ : Official GAME BOY flash cart, NINTENDO POWER
• Cartridge ID: DMG-MMSA-JPN
• Released: 1999
• Manufacturer: Nintendo
• Rare feature: White cartridge color shape. 8 Mbits (1 Mbyte) flash ROM.
Why do I receive at GAMEBOYcarts.com:
First time I saw this cart was in the GAME BOY DEV weblog by José Torres. Was a SHOCK for me, like “What the hell is that…” after some HARD research on EBAY, JAPAN auction sites and I think the entire net I finally got one of this beauties. This cart is really hard to find here in Europe and America, but one of my friends in Japan sent me this piece of art .
Technical review (source WIKIPEDIA):
The Nintendo Power flash RAM cartridge was a Japan-only peripheral produced by Nintendo for the Super Famicom and the Game Boy, which allowed owners to download Super Famicom/Game Boy games onto a special flash memory cartridge for cheaper than the full cartridge would have been. During the days of the Famicom, Nintendo developed the Famicom Disk System, a disk drive with expanded RAM which allowed Famicom owners to use rewritable disks. The system was relatively popular, but suffered from issues of piracy and limited capacity. However, Nintendo did see the market for a rewritable game device thanks to the popularity of the FDS. The NP cartridges solve the piracy issue by the fact that they are solid-state, as opposed to being a rewritable medium like the FDS, making their use in duplication limited. The limited capacity issue was solved by maximizing the size of the flash memory in the cartridge to 4 megabytes, the largest amount used by the vast majority of Super Famicom games. Each cartridge’s flash RAM is divided internally into eight blocks. Unless an 8-block game is loaded onto the cartridge, however, one block is reserved for the game selection menu, leaving only seven blocks for games. In addition, each cartridge has a small amount of SRAM for game saves, which is divided into sixteen blocks. Games are rounded up in capacity (i.e. a 10 megabit Super Famicom game needs three flash RAM blocks (12 megabits), a Game Boy game that needs 100 kilobits of save space would need 2 SRAM blocks (128 kilobits).) The system does have one limitation – games that utilize a special chip (such as the Super FX) cannot be placed on the NP cartridge, as the needed chip was not in the cartridge.
A user would first purchase the RAM cartridge itself, then bring it to a store which had an NP copier. The player would select games to be placed on the cartridge, and then had them loaded on. In addition, the store would provide the purchaser with a printed copy of the manual for the game. Game prices varied, with older titles being relatively cheap, and newer titles and NP exclusives being more expensive.