Memories are fickle things. They lose their freshness, they lose their relevance, and more often than not the brain finds no need to employ them going forward. They become obsolete.
Memory cards have proven no different. If the writing wasn’t on the wall when the current generation launched with 20GB-hard drive Xbox 360s and 60GB PlayStation 3s, it became vividly muralized when those numbers started burgeoning to 120, 250, and now 320.
Sure, these blocky reservoirs of mission checkpoints, custom settings and DLC downloads still eke out a respectable existence on the Nintendo Wii (they don’t look like they’ll be discarded for the Wii U, either) and in the USB ports of Microsoft and Sony’s smaller hard-drive console variants, but anyone buying a new Xbox 360 or PS3 today will find the low-gig options to be near nonexistent. The memory card decline isn’t likely to be staved off in the next-generation either, as storage and streaming continues to grow more efficient.
And that’s the way it has to be: We download more, we update more, and if there’s ever a need to take our saves on the road, we’ll likely be sending them to the cloud more, too.