There's nothing quite like a mysterious patent to get chins wagging and brains ticking over. And this latest one from Nintendo is a right head scratcher. The patent, which was filed earlier this month to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, present a set of collectible trading cards with in-built NFC functionality (making them, in theory, function much like a traditional amiibo).

Here's one extract from the patent discussing the NFC tech:

“The trading cards refer to cards on which variously different pictures are depicted and a purpose thereof is collection and exchanged. Namely, the trading cards are cards manufactured and sold aiming at exchange or collection of pictures on each surface thereof.”

So what could it all mean? This isn't the first time Nintendo has used NFC in card form - Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer used a set of collectible cards that included such functionality, so could this be a prelude to a similar set in 2018? Pokémon remains a big player in the CCG space, so there's always the possibility that we could see Nintendo riff on that powerful licence. 

So what could this patent really be leading to? Are we getting more cards in the form of Animal Crossing Happy Home, or could it be a new take on the enduring Pokémon brand? Share your thoughts with the community below...

[via pdfaiw.uspto.gov]