Tuesday, August 25th 2015

Next Gen Nintendo Console to Do Away with Optical Disc Media

Nintendo's upcoming high-performance game console, codenamed "Nintendo NX," could be the first major console in 15 years to completely do away with optical disc media. Patent applications covering the console, filed in February by Nintendo, with the USPTO, and unearthed by NeoGAF, describe a console that "is not provided with an optical disc drive." Nintendo is expected to reveal the NX some time in 2016.

This points at a new direction in which Nintendo wants to guide the console gaming industry - one in which an Internet connection is mandatory, games are bought from a centralized marketplace online, downloaded to your console's local storage (HDDs/SSDs), and played. DLCs and in-game purchases are as seamless as possible, and game progress, settings, etc., are stored on the cloud. Such a system already existed for close to a decade, with Xbox Live and PSN, but Nintendo NX will be the first platform to completely do away with optical disc media. This method could also curb piracy, since the only way your console can receive games to play is through that online marketplace.
Sources: USPTO, NeoGAF
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46 Comments on Next Gen Nintendo Console to Do Away with Optical Disc Media

#1
RejZoR
And they just expect everyone to have super hyper fast unmetered lines. Not to mention shit servers that caused problems to all console makers (just look at all the crap with PSN). And lets don't forget the longevity of systems when they decide to end the support. I can still use PS2 today like it was released yesterday. All these modern consoles will be just a hunk of useless plastic in the same timeframe.
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#2
64K
MS tried to push the always online with the Xbox One. Fail. Nintendo may curb piracy with this but they will take a hit financially.
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
RejZoR
And they just expect everyone to have super hyper fast unmetered lines. Not to mention shit servers that caused problems to all console makers (just look at all the crap with PSN). And lets don't forget the longevity of systems when they decide to end the support. I can still use PS2 today like it was released yesterday. All these modern consoles will be just a hunk of useless plastic in the same timeframe.
i agree with you in general, except for the bandwidth thing - all these games have regular updates and patches and even launch day patches, so you often end up downloading more than the game came iwth in the first place. Also, nintendo titles are fairly small.

Agreed on planned obsolescence - the only way this is NOT a major issue is if the console that replaces it works with your account and can natively run the older titles.
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#4
RejZoR
Which so far happened only one time with a limited model of a console (fat PS3 that could run PS2 games). As for the bandwidth, it is already a problem. If updates are bigger than base game, you're doing shit totally wrong. Or just plain lazy as hell. I mean, delta patching anyone? It's not like it has been used on PC for decades now...
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#5
Xzibit
3D V-Nand cardriges. :p
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#6
Furunomoe
Xzibit
3D V-Nand cardriges. :p
We can surely hope. Maybe PS7 or XBox 999.
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#7
john_
It does have an SD card, so games could come in SD cards also, not just from an online store. A 16GBs SD card will cost to the consumer about $5-7? For a company like Nintendo this translates probably to $2-$3? In a year from now it could be $1-$2? So you pass that $1 or $2 dollars to the consumer and at the same time you have a console that it is smaller, cheaper to produce, with lower power consumption and one less part that could malfunction.
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#8
Mussels
Moderprator
john_
It does have an SD card, so games could come in SD cards also, not just from an online store. A 16GBs SD card will cost to the consumer about $5-7? For a company like Nintendo this translates probably to $2-$3? In a year from now it could be $1-$2? So you pass that $1 or $2 dollars to the consumer and at the same time you have a console that it is smaller, cheaper to produce, with lower power consumption and one less part that could malfunction.
they could ship the cards with partitions as well, a hidden partition for the original game files and a secondary one to store game updates/save files on. make SD cards the new game cartridge, if they support UHS-1 it should work great.
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#9
Xzibit
Where is my Mario I can't find it? Have you check your phone, tablet or camera.

Found it, left it in my jeans in the washer/dryer.


I always thought someone Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo would go the USB flash device for the marketing potential of it.

Game in a USB characters figure

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#10
R-T-B
Maybe they want to try cartridges again. :P
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#11
TheinsanegamerN
"This points at a new direction in which Nintendo wants to guide the console gaming industry - one in which an Internet connection is mandatory, games are bought from a centralized marketplace online, downloaded to your console's local storage (HDDs/SSDs), and played."

FACEPALM

Did they NOT watch what happened to microsoft when they tried this? an always online system will FAIL if the country's internet connectivity isnt up to snuff. and america's connectivity is a joke. Our broadband infrastructure is pathetically behind the times, with BS data caps to boot. People don't WANT an always online system with overpriced online marketplaces and connectivity DRM. we want good games.

It's like nintendo is making the same stupid mistakes as the other guys, but 5 years later. and guide the industry? nintendo, you are currently in a distant third place. you are in no position to "guide the industry". why is it that every japanese gaming company has gone full stupid recently?

I, for one, cannot WAIT for this to crash and burn.
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#12
Uplink10
RejZoR
And they just expect everyone to have super hyper fast unmetered lines.
Mussels
i agree with you in general, except for the bandwidth thing - all these games have regular updates and patches and even launch day patches, so you often end up downloading more than the game came iwth in the first place. Also, nintendo titles are fairly small.
@RejZoR is correct, it would be better if you could download updates on other computer and then install them, like it used to be, but nowadays you would probably have to download updates by pirate release team and then not apply the crack.

Bandwith can be an issue if you still have slow xDSL connection beacuse a lot of people still get their WAN lines into a village by copper, hell some people in the cities around the world have only xDSL available (although faster) becaue optical fibre is only available in blocks.
I do feel pity for people in America using fibre but have their data limit at 300 GB per month or similar, if I had this limit I would rather buy a server or a few (and still get them cheaper by amount of data I would transfer) and get the lowest possible speed available at Comcast or similar bastards. At least in Europe (excluding internet-censored UK) data cap limits are not so widespread (never heard for one) where they have fibre.

Mussels
they could ship the cards with partitions as well, a hidden partition for the original game files and a secondary one to store game updates/save files on. make SD cards the new game cartridge, if they support UHS-1 it should work great.
This is not possible, because random read/write is too slow and if they want fast random read/write they have to buy better SD cards. And if I remember correctly isn't only sequential read/write defined in classification?
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#13
RejZoR
There are still quite some people who still have 256kbps lines or lines that have like 50GB of transfers before they crap down to 64kbps or some other stupid speed. That's a problem with big games today...
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#14
Prima.Vera
It will be first launched in Japan where 100Mbps broadband is by default in ALL buildings. Also in Japan and S. Korea, piracy is kinda scarce, so on local market it might succeed.
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#15
TheMailMan78
Big Member
I am willing to bet they will sell games on USB or SD card for the bulk of the data. Then all you have to do is be online to "activate" it.

Also Xbox Live and PSN are huge in the US (Gaming's biggest Market) and we essentially have zero caps on our internet. Nintendo might be taking a gamble......or they might be pushing the envelope yet again. Time will tell. You never know with Nintendo.

@btarunr The fact you used a NES as this articles main image made me happy man. Most people would have used a WiiU or something newer. Can't beat that 1985 style! Trust me I beat mine with anything in reach. SHE STILL RUNS TODAY!
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#16
RCoon
TheMailMan78
I am willing to bet they will sell games on USB or SD card for the bulk of the data.
Gotta admit, that was my first thought when I read this. It would be pretty cool. Then maybe memory sticks would cost $0.10 in the near future, because of mass production that physical media enjoys right now.
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#17
TheMailMan78
Big Member
RCoon
Gotta admit, that was my first thought when I read this. It would be pretty cool. Then maybe memory sticks would cost $0.10 in the near future, because of mass production that physical media enjoys right now.
Yeah USB sticks are dirt cheap right now. Going non-optical could be epic if you think about it. USB 3.0 would be WAY faster than Optical. anyone who has installed an OS via USB would know that. Close to Zero loading times? SSD level everything?! Yes please.

The only thing that will screw Nintendo over on this, is if they don't go x86. The next system HAS to be x86.
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#18
Mussels
Moderprator
Uplink10
@RejZoR is correct, it would be better if you could download updates on other computer and then install them, like it used to be, but nowadays you would probably have to download updates by pirate release team and then not apply the crack.

Bandwith can be an issue if you still have slow xDSL connection beacuse a lot of people still get their WAN lines into a village by copper, hell some people in the cities around the world have only xDSL available (although faster) becaue optical fibre is only available in blocks.
I do feel pity for people in America using fibre but have their data limit at 300 GB per month or similar, if I had this limit I would rather buy a server or a few (and still get them cheaper by amount of data I would transfer) and get the lowest possible speed available at Comcast or similar bastards. At least in Europe (excluding internet-censored UK) data cap limits are not so widespread (never heard for one) where they have fibre.


This is not possible, because random read/write is too slow and if they want fast random read/write they have to buy better SD cards. And if I remember correctly isn't only sequential read/write defined in classification?
i meant as an installation media, to replace the DVD's. they could store the patches and contain the single use licence keys -so they're a portable installer, one-off licene verification, and place to store save games/patches if wanted.
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#19
64K
Another problem with their idea is it would not appeal to console gamers if they could not sell their games and buy used games. I guess for the people that want the Nintendo games in particular it wouldn't matter but part of the problem in selling the Wii U was the limited AAA game selection because they were underpowered. If they step up to the plate with the new console to at least the level of the Xbox One then they would be good for a few more years.
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#20
a_ump
i think the real question isn't if it'll take sd cards/usb flashdrives, but more like "WHY THE HELL NOT?!?!" I've been perplexed about this for a long time now, why are they still bothering with optical media, takes up more space, failure and damage to media is easier. I mean flash memory has it going on for it and is cheap as mentioned.

So if anyone could answer that question i'd love to hear it.
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#21
5DVX0130
Mussels
all these games have regular updates and patches and even launch day patches, so you often end up downloading more than the game came iwth in the first place. Also, nintendo titles are fairly small.
Only because games nowadays are so shitly made you NEED to patch them, in some cases for months, before they are even playable as they should be.

RejZoR
Which so far happened only one time with a limited model of a console (fat PS3 that could run PS2 games).
And even in that case they simply disabled it with a simple PSN update.

If I remember right there was talk about a lawsuit since it was an advertised feature. But in the end nothing really happened for the users.
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#22
natr0n
"Imagines giant proprietary cartridges with hex/torx screws with tiny sd card inside"
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#23
VanguardGX
Not sure if that's the way to. Nintendo always manages to shoot themselves in the foot these past few generations. N64 not moving to optical media, Game Cube using those mini disks and limited online support not even gonna get into the Wii. I feel this is the next bullet not having a disk drive. Not everyone has super fast internet connections, some don't even have internet for that matter. Right away Nintendo is cutting off a lot of potential customers. Give us the option don't eliminate it all together.
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#24
TheMailMan78
Big Member
VanguardGX
Not sure if that's the way to. Nintendo always manages to shoot themselves in the foot these past few generations. N64 not moving to optical media, Game Cube using those mini disks and limited online support not even gonna get into the Wii. I feel this is the next bullet not having a disk drive. Not everyone has super fast internet connections, some don't even have internet for that matter. Right away Nintendo is cutting off a lot of potential customers. Give us the option don't eliminate it all together.
The Wii was a massive market success. Hardly a "shot in the foot".
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#25
xkche
Xzibit
Where is my Mario I can't find it? Have you check your phone, tablet or camera.

Found it, left it in my jeans in the washer/dryer.


I always thought someone Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo would go the USB flash device for the marketing potential of it.

Game in a USB characters figure


Agree.

Games in USB stick are the best option IMO.
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