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Nintendo files patent for disc-less game system

Nintendo may be looking to drop discs for the Nintendo NX, if a newly discovered patent is anything to go by.

A new patent filed by Nintendo details a game system without a disc drive, suggesting that the upcoming NX may abandon disc-based software altogether.

The patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office way back in February 2015, though this week the documents made their way online (thanks NeoGAF).

Information discovered throughout the patent application hints at a number of potential features for the mystery system:

“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 example system is not provided with an optical disk drive for reading out a program and/or data from an optical disk.”

Whatever this system happens to be, it won’t be abandoning physical media completely. An image accompanying the patent includes a card slot, suggesting that SD or even game cards could be used in the system.

Related: Best Wii U Games 2015

The presence of card slot could even lead to Nintendo 3DS games being playable on the platform, though we won’t hold our breath.

Patents are not always the most reliable guide to a company’s next product, however – the chances are that the details in this application could have nothing to do with the Nintendo NX, which we already know little about.

Nintendo has recently stated that the NX will not be a replacement for the Wii U or 3DS, but something “completely new.”

Nintendo recently sold its 20 millionth Wii U since launching back in November 2012.

The Nintendo NX is set to launch at some point in 2016, so expect more information in the coming months.