Ever the innovative force behind some of video games's most influential peripherals, amongst other notable and historic moves, Nintendo may have just lifted the veil on one aspect of the groundbreaking tech that'll be in store for us once the mysterious NX touches down.
Filed back in June 2015 and dug up via NeoGAF, the big N have attempted to patent a controller that includes an elliptical touchscreen that covers the entire surface of the peripheral, as well as your obligatory shoulder buttons, two thumb sticks and a card slot on top of the device. Nice little throwback to the Dreamcast's divisive controller on that last one.
This reveal follows rumors from last year that suggested Nintendo were aiming to use Japanese tech giant Sharp's groundbreaking free-form touch display technology in their new controller.
Here's a description of the controller in pure, unadulterated jargon:
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.
The Future Is Free-Form
Due to Sharp's free-form tech's circuitry being placed in sporadic places behind the screen, the freedom of space allows the screens to be almost infinitely moldable. Meaning they can be cut to fit any shape, including a potential video game console controller or, say, a car's dashboard.
This also suggests that the controller will act as a potentially outrageous second screen, as the NX will stream gameplay to your literal fingers tips via the controller's touchscreen faceplate. Here's how the listing describes that particular aspect of the tech:
The game screen drawn from the first-person viewpoint is displayed on the display panel having a form similar to a form of the visual filed of the human being, the player can obtain a feeling of immersion into the virtual game space.
Furthermore, since the gun is displayed near the thumb of the player, it is thought that a higher feeling of immersion can be obtained.
The patent also suggests that some of the controller's buttons can be reassigned for game specific purposes and can be swapped around to allow ease of access for both right and left handed players.
Here are more images from the patent listing:
The diagram below displays the peripheral's inner workings:
The news of this incredible pipe dream of tech comes off the back of another patent that basically posits the NX will need one hell of an Expansion Pak in order to run to its full capabilities.
Word on the street reckons that the NX will be able to connect to other user's NXs, or a "supplemental device" in order to significantly boost the processing power, and improve the console's performance and speed.
The diagram above aims to replicate the hypothetical connections between NX and device or another user's NX. The console will apparently have the ability to assign workloads to other NXs via the cloud, greatly boosting the graphical potential of games.
This also suggests that if it is true that the NX will be a hybrid of console and handheld gaming, the rumor mill is being led to believe that the two devices will be able to form like Voltron and become the Mega NX. Or just NX, I added "Mega" for sheer emphasis of awesomeness. Whats a guy gonna do?
Nintendo president and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima promised us something completely different from the Wii, and by the sounds of it we're in for a absolute treat!