Video Game Memory Cards & Expansion Packs

A memory card is a physical cartridge inserted into a game console to provide external storage space for saved game files or configuration files. These and expansion packs were common game accessories up until the last generation or two of console systems.

Uses for Memory Cards & Expansion Packs

Not to be confused with the "expansion pack" that preceded eventual downloadable content or DLC, which often added additional video game content to a PC role-playing or strategy game, console expansion packs added extra power to video games. The Nintendo 64 version, for instance, provided four more megabytes of RAM, enabling greater processing power for high-end graphics and gameplay of the time. Memory cards were more straightforward in purpose, providing a place to save when the console had no onboard storage for that feature.

Video Game Memory Cards & Expansion Packs Types

Many systems employed memory cards, including the Sega CD, PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Even the Xbox 360 had its own first-party memory card accessory. Contemporary systems largely migrated to broader and less proprietary formats, like USB memory sticks or cloud storage. Only the Nintendo 64 system was truly famous for its special expansion pack accessory.