Nintendo’s New Patent What Does It Mean?
I’m sure by now you have heard about Nintendo’s new patent. There has been a lot of speculation as to what this patent is for. The only thing that I’m sure about is that Nintendo’s new patent is for a console. Now what that console is remains to be seen, the patent doesn’t contain that information. The patent does say plenty about the proposed console, and possibly the direction that Nintendo maybe heading.
The most head turning feature of this console is without a doubt the lack of an optical disc drive. Implying on the surface at least that this will be a download only console. Should this turn out to be true, it will undoubtedly be an unpopular choice with the gaming community.
I remember the outrage when Microsoft suggested a similar approach to the Xbox One. Which I find to be humorous, since services like Steam are completely digital. Like it or not that is the direction that the industry is heading in. Fact is that one of the three home console makers are going to have to be the first to pull the trigger on going all digital. I had thought it was going to be Microsoft I was wrong, now it appears that it might be Nintendo.
Nintendo’s new patent points to the use of a memory card. The patent is unclear if this is some new form of proprietary card or something more common place such as a SD card. Now if this is a way to back up games, or a new potential delivery method is also unclear. The patent indicates that the console would be equipped with a hard drive. So using a memory card to save game data seems both unlikely and inefficient.
In the late 1980’s Nintendo released the Famicom Computer Disk System. Which was an add-on to the Famicom that used a special disk in place of a cartridge. Players could take these disk to kiosks in public places, and pay to get a new game written onto them. This cost less than buying a cartridge, and since the disk was re-writable the process could be repeated. I bring this up because I think it would be a great use for the memory card on this new console. This way if you live in an area without great internet you could go to your local game store select a title, and then have it written onto your memory card. You could then transfer the game from your memory card to the console’s hard drive, and then repeat the process anytime you want a new game. I think that Nintendo would be wise to implement a feature such as this. There is nothing wrong with looking to your past in order to plan for your future.
Is Nintendo’s new patent the NX?
I’ve seen a lot of people claim that Nintendo’s new patent must be the NX. While that maybe true, it’s too early to know for sure. This could just as easily be a new project not related to the NX at all. We did an article on what we would like to see from the NX so I’m not going to rehash that here. I do think that if this is the NX than Nintendo is doing some forward thinking, and I like what I see here.
Of course something that needs to be taken into consideration here is, that Nintendo’s new patent may end up being nothing at all. Companies file patents for a number of reasons chief among them is to protect themselves. It’s common for a company to file a patent, and the project never sees a commercial release. Regardless of that this console turns out to be Nintendo’s new patent has certainly got people talking.
Have thoughts, comments? Sound off below.