It looks like Nintendo might be getting rid of physical games, as a patent was filed for a console format without a disk. The logical explanation from it could be that Nintendo is planning to implement this no disk format into their next generation console, the NX. A NeoGAF user was the first to find the patent and it’s completely viewable on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website — and it’s pretty clear that the intention is to move away from disk based gaming and other media.
“It is to be noted that the game apparatus 1 according to the present example embodiment is not provided with an optical disk drive to be loaded with an optical disk such as a CD (Compact Disc) or a DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) in which the game program 26 is stored,” the application states. “Without the optical disk drive, the game apparatus 1 can realize reduction in cost, size and the like compared to a game apparatus provided with an optical disk drive.”
This seems like a slightly risky maneuver, as a big chunk of gaming sales comes from physical disks. Though that doesn’t take away from the fact that many gamers are opting to go digital instead. However, if this is what Nintendo plans to do with the NX then this would be the first developer to take a step towards getting rid of physical games.
Then again, this could just be a patent that Nintendo is filing and nothing more. There’s no way of knowing, at this point, whether or not the patent will actually come to fruition. It might not even be for the NX but something entirely different. At this point, only time will tell what Nintendo has up their sleeve.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website