A cartridge is a plastic case which houses the ROM chip that stores a game's data, and in some cases also contains additional hardware such as the CR2032 SRAM. Some examples of cartridge-based systems include the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear.
Genesis cartridge features
Sega Virtua Processor
- Virtua Racing contains a custom-designed DSP chip (known officially as SVP, Sega Virtua Processor), allowing for enhanced graphics and sound capabilities. This chip essentially serves as an extra processor, allowing the game to produce polygons that would be impossible to create using a standard Genesis. This extra power cost extra, though, with the game costing around $100 in total. Interestingly, this game was the first to showcase the power of the SVP chip - plans were underway to produce more games using this chip, using a "Modular Converter" cartridge to cut production costs. This Converter would contain the SVP chip, with the enhanced game designed to use the SVP chip plugging into the top of the unit. However, due to the costs of production against the Genesis' age and falling popularity, the project was dropped. Virtua Racing also has a cartridge roughly one-and-a-half times the size of a usual Genesis cartridge due to the added chip, and is incompatabile with the Sega 32X addon.