Surprisingly, the actual core of a game cartridge takes up very little room inside its plastic shell. This cartridge’s two ROM chips contain the game software; one stores the actual program code, and the other stores graphics data.
A lockout chip, placed in every licensed cartridge, ensured that the game was authorized by Nintendo. It caused quite a bit of trouble when combined with dirty cartridge connectors, resulting in the “blinkies.” That, however, didn’t stop millions of people from enjoying the NES, which became a potent cultural force for an entire generation.
Want more cool teardowns of classic tech gear? Check out these slideshows:
Gadget Autopsy: The Nintendo Game Boy
Inside the Apple IIc
Inside the Commodore 64