Why is Nintendo still using "blocks" for memory? What the hell is a block?

#1ZontianPosted 2/3/2012 8:29:47 AM
It started on Playstation because their memory cards had 15 blocks, and each block was a literal square. Most games took 1 block to save. But even Sony dropped the block gimmick with PS2, telling us the KB each save took up.

Xbox had blocks and now Wii and 3DS are using blocks. The 2 gb SD card is shown as having something like 14,000 blocks. What the hell is that? Why can't it show the actual amount of space? I don't care that my download is 130 blocks. How much memory does it take up?
#2GeistPosted 2/3/2012 8:32:17 AM
What the hell is a block?

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lft9nsHBjK1qzj5ggo1_500.gif

And now you know.
---
I like everything you pretend to hate.
#3DarkShadowRagePosted 2/3/2012 8:37:38 AM
Geist posted...
What the hell is a block?

http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lft9nsHBjK1qzj5ggo1_500.gif

And now you know.


a lesson has been learned today
---
|Proud owner of a Nintendo Wii 04/07/07|A big time Samus fan and Metroid fan |I'm probably the biggest Samus fan you'll ever meet.
#4Happy Mask ManPosted 2/3/2012 8:37:52 AM
One block is one megabit. The game data will always take up space in those increments, even if a block isn't completely filled.
---
A wise man once said, "DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE"
Fooled
#5Lord_FroodPosted 2/3/2012 8:39:25 AM
Is it that big of an issue? I mean, you're still able to know how much space you have left.
---
"You nostalgic whore!" - nintendogger
Toot Toot, Sonic Warrior!
#6Tempest717Posted 2/3/2012 8:39:58 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Block_erasure

That kinda explains why they use blocks
---
Official King of the Time Travelers 3DS/Vita/PSP Board
Official Lion Tamer of the NDF
#7Smackie_theFrogPosted 2/3/2012 8:41:37 AM
I agree. Use something that everyone understands and uses in everyday life like megabytes. Blocks need to go along with other confusing, arbitrary systems like Microsoft points and the metric system.
---
So it goes.
#8EoinPosted 2/3/2012 8:46:12 AM

From: Tempest717 | #006
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Block_erasure

That kinda explains why they use blocks


It doesn't really. It explains why you might talk about blocks if you had to have a technical conversation about flash memory. All that stuff should be transparent to the player: they shouldn't have to worry about what is going on in the background to make saves possible.

The real reason they use blocks - and I believe Nintendo actually stated this in the GameCube era, although I'm not 100% confident of that - is that they figured that people might be confused by megabytes and kilobytes and that it was better to abstract that out into something simpler, hence blocks. Having 10,000 free blocks and wanting to store something that takes 800 blocks should be intuitively easier to understand than having 1.43GB free and wanting to store something that takes 78MB, especially since a megabyte is defined as a million bytes and a gigabyte is defined as a billion bytes but many people - and various operating systems including Windows - still measure a megabyte as 1024KB and a gigabyte as 1024MB, contrary to the official IEEE/IEC definitions.
#9squatch22Posted 2/3/2012 9:06:21 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte
---
derekfishbowl posted... : I don't understand why the Vita is failing so hard. I mean, it has two analog sticks!
3DS FC: 3050 7559 8337
#10links500Posted 2/3/2012 10:31:45 AM
A block is a square.
---
"you're all stupid noobs, noobing around and dying like noobs!" - Angry kid.
Sir, we're surrounded. - Excellent, we can shoot in any direction.