The Family Computer Disk System, commonly referred to as the Famicom Disk System, is a peripheral for Nintendo's Family Computer home video game console, released only in Japan on February 21, 1986. It uses proprietary floppy disks called "Disk Cards" for cheaper data storage and it adds a new high-fidelity sound channel for supporting FDS games. Fundamentally, the FDS device serves simply to enhance some aspects already inherent to the base Famicom system, with better sound and cheaper games—though with the disadvantages of high initial price, slow speed, and lower reliability. However, this boost to the market of affordable and writable mass storage temporarily served as an enabling technology for the creation of new types of video games. This includes the vast, open world, progress-saving adventures of the best-selling The Legend of Zelda (1986) and Metroid (1986). It includes games with a cost-effective and swift release such as the best-selling Super Mario Bros. 2. And it includes nationwide leaderboards and contests via the in-store Disk Fax kiosks, which are considered to be forerunners of today's online achievement and distribution systems. By 1989, the FDS was inevitably obsoleted by the improving semiconductor technology of game cartridges. The FDS's lifetime sales reached 4.4 million units by 1990, its final game was released in 1992, and Nintendo officially discontinued its technical support in 2003.
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