Nintendo NX Patent Reveals No Disk Drive: What Does This Mean for the Console?

A new patent filed by Nintendo for a console, presumably the upcoming NX, that features no disc drive has led many to speculate about what the future could hold for the direction of the company.

The NX has been touted as a system that will change the way we experience our video games, after the company’s touchscreen Gamepad failed to set the world alight following the company’s huge splash with motion control and the Wii. The new patent highlights a console without an optical disc drive, with there only being a card slow at the back of the system that allows the user to insert other hardware, noted in the patent as a memory card. Considering that the system also has an internal hard drive and support for an external hard drive, it’s curious as to why a memory card would also be needed. Could Nintendo be looking to adopt a card-based system?


This has led many to speculate that Nintendo could revert back to cartridges, though if that were to be the case then this patent suggests that they wouldn’t look like the cartridges used by the NES, SNES and N64. Judging by the patent they would be smaller and, would actually slot into the rear of the console, with the front of the console only being used for a wireless communication unit for the controller and the external HDD.

Another patent filed by Nintendo includes one for the console’s controller, which also shows that it would feature a display unit, meaning that Nintendo wouldn’t be reverting back to a traditional style of controller and would instead be continuing on from the Wii U’s Gamepad, which also boasts a screen. 


If this is a patent for the NX then we could be looking at a very different console from what we’ve come to expect, though considering Nintendo have spent the past few generations surprising us with their innovative console designs, we was never expecting the NX to be a mere clone of the PS4 and Xbox One.

With cartridges an altogether more expensive way to store video games, it is questionable whether Nintendo would really go down this route once again. However, with the company still using cartridges for its 3DS releases, it is still a possibility that they could look to distribute their home  console games using a similar method with the NX.