Nintendo Files Patent for System With no Optical Disc Drive

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

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Nintendo NX

 

Nintendo Co., Ltd has filed a patent in the United States for a gaming system that has no optical disc drive. This is presumably relating to Nintendo’s mysterious upcoming system, the NX. For the time being, little is known about its specs, and that will likely remain the case until next year. You may recall that the late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata had said they will not talk about it until next year.┬áThe patent document describes a controller with a display screen (sounds reminiscent of the Wii U Gamepad), and speed control processing.

Nintendo’s patent includes a primitive diagram of the main components for the device. It shows an internal (probably magnetic) hard drive, as well as a connector for an external hard drive. The system appears to support 4 controllers, and has a card slot. This could mean that games will come on flash cards, or it may just use flash cards as an extra storage medium. The presence of an internal magnetic hard drive implies that there would likely be a different handheld companion for the system. This is because you would not want a magnetic hard drive in a handheld system as these drives can suffer head crashes when subjected to movements (especially sudden movements, so dropping your handheld could kill the internal hard drive). So it seems unlikely this system would double as a handheld in and of itself.

A diagram of the major system components.

A diagram of the major system components.

 

If Nintendo’s future games are purchased on flash cards, this could be a good thing seeing as how optical disc drives have the bad habit of being more prone to breaking down due to their heavy reliance on moving parts. This would be a plus for a couple of reasons. Flash cards are much smaller than large CDs for disc drives, so you can store a lot more in a lot less space in your cabinet. And as mentioned, you don’t have to worry about your disc drive failing you. Trust me, I’ve had it happen to me. It’s not cool when that happens!

There is a possible dark side though. Should Nintendo do away with physical media entirely and rely on online purchases only, some players may not like this. This seems a bit impractical though, as that would mean the system would require a much larger internal hard drive, or force you to add an external drive to have room for all of your games. This would not be a good thing. The 32GB of storage space in the Deluxe Wii U would not be enough at all then, whereas it is plenty in the case of the Wii U since most of the game data is relegated to the game discs (unless you buy tons of stuff from the eShop of course).

Whatever your opinion, we will likely not hear anything too substantive from Nintendo on the NX until next year. In the meantime, you can check out more detailed information on this patent here.

 

SOURCE

About Michael Fontanini

Michael is a veteran gamer in my early 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES and SNES. He loves Nintendo but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks or bike rides, and loves animals.

Michael is also a computer programmer. This started with a toy he got as a kid called PreComputer 1000 that was made by V-Tech. It had a simple programming mode which is what started him down the road of being a programmer! Michael can program in BASIC, Visual Basic, C++, C#, and is familiar with Java and Lua Script.

Putting programming and gaming together, Michael became a hobbyist game developer which may give him some good insights on game development! Most recently, he has been playing with the free version of the Unity engine (a powerful and easy-to-use game engine).

I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.




  • Raymond

    I don’t really mind buying digital games. As long as the games work and I have no problems then it’s ok with me. I have more digital games then I have physical games. I just hope they they give you or like you buy your own HDD instead of selling you some “you can only use this HDD on our consoles like sony and Microsoft do.

  • AllahDaGreat

    I know what it is, It is the 3DS TV.

  • blackice85

    I’d actually like it if they went back to cartridges/flash cards or something. Maybe a larger implementation of an SD card, like say what the PC-Engine used?

  • Stephen Mc Devitt

    This is bad if this is a truly digital-only console. A good few still have limited wi-fi (such as myself) and the more big AAA games are becoming too big.

    I really want the new Zelda games to be on Wii U more than ever. It can be on both Wii U and NX at this point.

  • Eric Lavallee

    Yes Bring back my cartridges, discs suck.

  • ragunaxl

    Wii U slim perhaps. Or it is the NX. I don’t think the NX is a traditional nextgen console upgrade. Maybe it’s Nintendo’s ‘third tier’ Nintablet, much the way DS was originally intended. Maybe the X in NX means ‘cross’ the way Japanese game developers insist. So this Nintendo Cross could a full blown, official Virtual Console only. Games on tv, and handhelds on the screen. While, like I initially said, it could be Wii U slim, the new gamepad could have a DS or 3DS slot so you could use it on the go. Or it could wi-fi stream entirely and you could bring many of your favorite wii u games on the go.

  • multibottler0cket

    This could be either really cool or really uncool. Hopefully it’s some sort of cartridge and not download only!