Wanted to ask about others experience with this.
Personally I have zero disc-based games with rot related failure (holes, oxidization, or cloudiness). I have a few with severe scratches of course, usually that’s caused by issues with disc drives themselves scratching discs in a perfect circle.
However I have four cartridge-based games with failure that I have not been able to repair (it seems to be the rom chips themselves):
- Donkey Kong 2001 (Japanese ver of GBC DKC)
- Pokemon Crystal (GBC, intermittent failure, but permanent seems imminent)
- Pokemon LeafGreen (GBA)
- Densetsu no Starfy 2 (GBA)
I’m not sure what caused the failures here; it may be an electrical issue, maybe even originally a manufacturing defect, or environmental given these are all handheld games – they may have spent time outside in rain, snow, or worse.
I’m not trying to deny that disc rot is real but it seems fairly rare and isolated to poor manufacturing practices, poor storage conditions (extreme heat/humidity?) or handling, or a mix of both, certainly not something that is inevitable. For games it seems older Sega discs for Sega CD and Saturn games that are most likely to fail, likely related to poor manufacturing.
For CDs & Blu-Rays the top lacquer layer ought to be enough to protect the reflective aluminum layer, and for DVDs you have the polycarbonate sandwich is arguably even better.
Anyone else want to share their experiences?