Famicom Disk System
The Famicom Disk System (Family Computer Disk System) is a Japan-only disk drive add-on for the Famicom. The Disk System connected to the Famicom via an expansion slot on the bottom of the console, and used rewritable double-sided floppy disks ("Disk Cards") to store game data. A RAM cartridge, which served as the Disk System's disk buffer, was plugged into the cartridge slot. The FDS also added an FM synthesis channel to the Famicom, allowing for enhanced sound.
The Disk Cards were the first Famicom games to allow players to save their game progress. Also, the disks could store more data than the cartridges of the time. This allowed for sales of cheaper and larger games as manufacturing a disk was much less expensive than manufacturing a cartridge. Also, games could be purchased and written to blank disks at kiosks found at many locations.
Many FDS games were later re-released as regular Famicom cartridges, using password saving or battery-backed memory in lieu of the disks' rewritable memory. However, the enhanced FM synth sound was not carried over to cartridge games. While there were plans to release the Disk System in North America, this never happened and all Disk System games released in North America were released as regular cartridges. The bottom expansion slot still remained, however.
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