I was part of the early CD-ROM days with a Yamaha CD-ROM burner in 1994. It was well over $3000. It wasn't until 1995 that HP introduced a writer for under $1000 at $995. Worse, the early burners didn't have any cache, so to support the Yamaha, I was using a high-end dual-processor Pentium system that was in the neighborhood of $16,000 and I still got plenty of buffer under-runs! On top of all this, the first writeable CD's I purchased were in the $30/each range.
The area devastated by the Great Fire (allegedly started by Nero) was used to build Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea) first. After his death, most of the Golden House complex was demolished and it was only then that the infilled artificial lake of the Golden House was chosen as the site for the Colosseum.
we were burning on one of those Yamaha burners, but on a Mac instead of a pentium - in our case, we would optimize the external scsi drive that held our game, and still hope we could get a clean burn before the last Fedex drop.
we did manage to find some cheaper cd-r's though, when we bought in bulk.
I still remember buying my own first burner, which was just over $500 at the time, I ended up mostly using it for backups.
anyways, thanks for the memories!
Added together with the early MP3 scene on IRC and it was like having a super-power.
I was burning on a Gateway Solo laptop with a 200Mhz CPU.
Obviously it was limited to games that did not use enhancement chips as you mention.
I do remember being impressed with virtua fighter and virtua racing having processors embedded in the cart - that was a creative way to give life to the Genesis - obviously not being able to be be burned at the store unless there was a custom cart
Obviously there are some supply chain savings and such but at least as far as availability I'm not sure this solved much.
Reduced floor space usage. Better breath of inventory. Better customer service, you'll always have every title in stock.
All software was being sold in the big box style at the time so we did a lot of rejigging artwork for DVD case. We had blank CDs with a gold underside so they didn't look like the usual bluey-green home burned ones.
In the NES days it was simple data mapper chips that allowed a program to address more than 40kb of ROM by switching between multiple 40kb data banks. On the SNES this went much further, with games including specialized co-processors for things like sprite scaling, digital signal processing, and even hardware accelerated 3D scene rendering.
Making a universal cartridge that can handle all of this is a challenge even today.
Oh it is, but let me tell you: it's beautiful. http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=8045.0
Particularly you saw a number of sound expansions that existed as additional chips sitting on the cartridge.