Nintendo has patented a home console that does not contain an optical disc drive. All things considered, this likely means the mysterious Nintendo NX will be a digital only console.
To further clarify, the Wii U, along with every other console since the PS1, has an optical disc drive, which is a fancy term for the place where the disc is inserted and read. All of this means that the next Nintendo console, currently codenamed NX, is very likely to be a digital game only console and not support physical discs. It will however have slots for storage, i.e. USB’s or hard drives. You can check out the patent below.
While this may not be that surprising, considering the industry has been heading to an all-digital future for quite some time now, (Microsoft almost removed the optical drive from the Xbox One), it is surprising that Nintendo are the first to take the leap. The reason I say that is because the Nintendo eShop has never been the easiest or most reliable platform for buying games. Furthermore Nintendo’s consoles do not have large internal hard drives, the Wii U sports a pretty tiny 8GB with a premium version extending to 32GB. If this system were indeed to be digital only it would need a serious upgrade in storage.
Perhaps more interesting than the lack of an optical disc drive is that the controller will seemingly have a “display unity”, much like the Wii U GamePad. This was revealed in another image from the patent. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean another tablet style controller, it could be the controller/handheld that many have assumed the next console would have. Check out the patent below.
It was recently rumored that Nintendo would be revealing and releasing the NX next year, which means we don’t have too long left to wonder what exactly it is. Until then you can check out all of our coverage on the upcoming Super Mario Maker. But If you’re hungry for more NX, check out our best guesses at what the system could be.
Are you OK with there being no optical drive? What do you think the controller might be? Let us know in the comments below!