Nintendo Patent Reveals Bizarre Touchscreen Controller

By Kotaku on at

By Gabe Carey

A patent, filed by five designers at Nintendo, for a bizarre looking controller has been discovered.

Theoretically, the controller would be comprised of touch screen, complemented by two analog sticks, and a pair of grips reminiscent of the Wii Classic Controller Pro.

nintendo controller 2

The patent filing goes even deeper to say that the display, which occupies most of the controller’s real estate, could either be an LCD or an OLED -- and it may even use glasses-free 3D tech in a similar vein to the 3DS. The touch screen could also go a few ways, be it resistive or capacitive, with plans for it to take up the whole display.

While there’s no traditional A/B/X/Y or d-pad buttons on the controller, there are physical triggers and shoulder buttons towards the rear along with some kind of card slot between them–for housing games, maybe? And, like with many of Nintendo’s recent controllers, the patent even shows a single speaker for transmitting audio.

To compensate for the lack of physical buttons, the filing exhibits a few crude illustrations, demonstrating virtual button overlays on some pretty rudimentary-looking games. These include fire effects, where the game is obviously prompting players to ‘tap’ the screen in specific areas, as well as a Zelda-esque inventory system, allowing players to easily switch between weapons with a simple tap.

nintendo controller 3

While this is the first we’ve seen of this free-form display technology from Nintendo, it isn’t the first we’ve heard. In fact, as early as last year, Japanese news agency Kyodo revealed that the video game developer would be the first to take advantage of Sharp’s “doughnut shaped” displays, a set of free-form IGZO LCD panels with a unique, cookie-cutter-like design–which Sharp is preparing to start mass producing in early 2016.

Before getting away from yourself and shouting "It's the Nintendo NX. Take my money." Patent documents are filed by hardware companies all the time for ideas of products they never make. It's very likely this is one of those patents.

You can see the full patent, complete with images in a PDF format, here.