Nintendo Files Patent on Disc-less Game System

Nintendo could be looking to drop discs, but not necessarily physical media.

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A newly discovered Nintendo patent details a game system that lacks a disc drive, though whether or not this has anything to do with the upcoming NX remains to be seen.

Nintendo filed its application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in February 2015, though it only this week made its way online (where it was discovered by NeoGAF).

Part of an image accompanying Nintendo's application
Part of an image accompanying Nintendo's application

"An example system includes an internal hard disk drive storing a program and/or data, a communication unit transmitting/receiving a program and/or data via a network, and a processor executing a program stored in the hard disk drive to perform game processing," the application reads before getting to the key part: "The example system is not provided with an optical disk drive for reading out a program and/or data from an optical disk."

It's possible that such a system wouldn't be entirely free of physical media, as an accompanying image (part of which you can see above) lists a card slot. The application itself suggests this could be used to interface with SD memory cards.

We've contacted Nintendo for more information regarding the application, but companies rarely, if ever, tend to comment on these sorts of matters.

As is always the case with patents, you shouldn't necessarily read too much into this--companies frequently file for patents that don't immediately show up in their next products. Even if Nintendo plans on eventually releasing a new system based on what's seen in the application, there's no guarantee that it will be its next system, the NX. We don't yet know much about the new platform, though Nintendo says it won't be a simple replacement for Wii U and 3DS, nor will it run on Android.

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