Nintendo has not revealed very much about what its future NX console will involve, but one of the company’s recent US patent applications might be a hint as to what is coming. The patent, filed this February, talks about a “stationary game console” that uses only hard drives and external cards for storage.
This would be the first time a TV-based Nintendo system would go without discs since the Nintendo 64. That was two decades ago. The company thinks that the rise of broadband makes optical drives obsolete. Why have a disc reader when any game you want can be downloaded? It makes sense to me. And keeps their costs down as well.
We also don’t know much about the NX’s hardware, so we have no way of knowing if this is where Nintendo is headed. And even if it is, they could change their mind and might want Blu-ray or another format on board. This console may show up in a year or two, so a disc-free system certainly makes sense. The technology is on its way out at some point. This would be a great move for Nintendo, allowing them to usher in the future and keep their hardware costs down. We will have to wait and see.