In the late 90s, Nintendo created an innovative way to buy Super Famicom games. They started a service called Nintendo Power, which ran in popular convenience stores in Japan. For a certain amount of money, you could buy a blank cartridge, and you could put several games available to the service on the cart. There were many popular games on the service, and even some games that were exclusive to it. This service was continued until 2000.
Added Info by John Weidman:
Well, it's not really rare in Japan but it is rare
in the States. It's a Super Famicom Nintendo Power cart,
a programmable (re-writeable) flash cart made by Nintendo.
In Japan you used to be able to go into a Lawson store
with a programming station and download games onto it
for a fee. Not all games were available on the NP cart
but there was a wide selection. Almost any non-special
chip game could have been put on it if Nintendo wanted
to make it available on NP. Sadly, the Nintendo Power
service was shut down last year so you can no longer
get the carts programmed but the carts themselves live
on. I heard that Nintendo offerred to buy back the carts
after they shut down the service (not for full price
of course) but I can't confirm that.
Scans provided by John Weidman:
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