New Nintendo Patent Application Reveals Handheld Controller With Free-Form Display

Rumors about the Nintendo NX have been flying freely over the last few months. Will it be more powerful than its two year old competitors, the PS4 and Xbox One? Will it be a handheld? Will it have two screens? Three? Ten? Well, perhaps some light into what exactly those Nintendo boys ‘n gals have been cooking up will be shed with the reveal of a new patent Nintendo has filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office:

The device is described as follows:

“A non-limiting example information processing apparatus comprises a housing, and a first portion of the housing is formed in an elliptical form when viewing from the front. A display panel and a touch panel constitute one main surface of the first portion. Holes are formed in left and right end portions of the display panel and the touch panel, and two operation sticks are provided through the two holes. When viewing the first portion from the front, an area except key tops of the operation sticks becomes a display area.”

This is better explained in images than in text, so here’s the accompanying diagrams:

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Here at The Games Cabin we are, of course, experts in deciphering patent diagrams and text. Broadly speaking, it seems that the controller is one large touchscreen display that has different buttons and whatnot displayed on it around those funky looking pentagons, thus allowing the game to display all kinds of different controls on the touchscreen depending on the game.

Patents are, of course, simplified versions of the actual design. They’re more for the idea than the actual design, so don’t get too angry if you think it looks like a distinctly simple design. And it also bears repeating that patents don’t always come to fruition. Nintendo (or more accurately, 5 engineers who all work for Nintendo) may simply have patented this idea to prevent others from being able to use it in the future, or it may simply be an idea that they wanted to send to manufacturing companies to test its feasibility, but didn’t want the idea being stolen. At this point it’s barely better than hearsay, but it’s certainly an interesting idea to think about.

Credit to Neogaf for discovering the patent. You can find out more details on the patent’s page if you want to scrutinise the details yourself, complete with a few more diagrams.