Nintendo recently filed a new patent for a type of console that seemed to use some sort of cloud mechanisms to enhance gameplay. Although we could not fully sort out what the patent meant, the folks at Extreme Tech put together an excellent analysis on what the patent could mean for a future Nintendo console.
“Nintendo’s hypothetical console can connect to multiple supplemental devices, measure their latency and performance characteristics, and assign appropriate workloads, all with the goal of improving primary console performance. These supplemental devices are shown as being wired directly to the primary console, as below, but the actual patent text makes it clear that supplemental devices could also connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.”
The system Nintendo describes in its patent application sounds more like a compute cluster than a traditional platform.
Clustering hardware together could offer an interesting way for gamers to invest more money in exchange for better overall performance. Both the Xbox One and PS4 have often struggled to maintain frame rates (the Xbox One has a larger overall problem, but neither console is guaranteed to be lag-free). I don’t know how many Sony or Microsoft fans would pay an additional premium to alleviate these issues and guarantee a smooth 30-60 FPS at 1080p, but we bet some would. Whether Nintendo can launch and ramp such an approach is open to debate — network-related features and online gaming are far from the company’s traditional strengths.”
For a full analysis of the patent, make sure to check out Extreme Tech‘s page.