We Finally Know Why Nintendo’s Famicom Cartridges Have Those Little Holes

The Nintendo Entertainment System and the Family Computer (or “ Famicom“) are technically the same console, capable of playing the same games–aside from regional exclusives and that sort of thing. That said, the cartridges for each system look very different: The NES cartridges are tall, rectangular hunks of plastic, while Famicom carts are small and colorful.

If you’ve ever seen a Famicom cart, you may have wondered why those two holes on corners of the top edge are there. NES games don’t have them; there are plastic clips that hold the cartridge together instead. It turns out that there is a reason for this, as Nintendo recently revealed ( via Kotaku), but it’s probably not the exciting answer you were hoping for.

Japanese website  Afternoon News asked Nintendo about the holes and learned that they’re part of the cartridge’s design. That’s it.

Afternoon News: “I believe there are holes on the top of [Famicom] cartridges. Do you know what kind of meaning they had?”

Nintendo: “Yes, to be honest, they were just part of the design.”

Afternoon News: “Um, these aren’t holes made during the molding or the assembly?”

Nintendo: “That’s correct. They’re just [part of the cartridge’s] design.”

They’re not for ventilation, they don’t have a function. Nope, nothing like that: Nintendo just thought they looked nice. This is sort of a “don’t meet your heroes” scenario, but with a question and an underwhelming answer.

Now that Nintendo seems to be in a sharing mood, are there other unanswered questions you’d like to have resolved? What did you think the holes in the cartridge were for? Let us know in the comments below!

Images:  Bryan Ochalla/Flickr Quagmire’s Photos

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