Nintendo Files Patent for Unique, Free-Form Touch Controller

Whether or not it's related to the NX remains to be seen.


People allegedly working on behalf of Nintendo have filed a patent for a unique-looking, free-form game controller. It may or may not have ties to the company's mysterious upcoming console, codenamed NX.

The patent application was filed in June 2015 but was only just published online today (via NeoGAF). Nintendo's name is not seen on the document, but the "inventors" are five Nintendo employees.

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The patent filing's description states that some of the controller's buttons can be assigned for specific purposes and can be tweaked to support right- and left-handed players. In the filing, it's also mentioned that the controller will apparently project what's on your TV screen onto the controller.

"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," it said. "Furthermore, since the gun is displayed near the thumb of the player, it is thought that a higher feeling of immersion can be obtained."

You can click through the images in the gallery above to get a closer look at the controller mock-ups.

Bear in mind that patent filings are not binding. What's seen in the filing (see all the images and details here) could change over time, if the product ever even indeed comes to fruition. There is also nothing in the patent filing that directly connects this controller to the NX.

A Nintendo representative told GameSpot, "We have no comment regarding this patent matter."

The discovery of this patent filing follows a report from 2014 that claimed technology giant Sharp was supplying Nintendo with its new line of LCDs, which can be bent and formed into many different shapes.

Recently, a Wall Street Journal report claimed that the NX would be a console/mobile hybrid with "industry-leading" technology. According to another recent report, this one stemming from production sources in Japan, Nintendo plans to ship 12 million NX systems in 2016.

The NX was first revealed in March 2015 on the same day that Nintendo announced plans to make smartphone games. The announcement of the NX was purposefully made so people would understand that Nintendo remains committed to the console space.

Then-president Satoru Iwata, who passed away in July, referred to the NX as a "brand new concept." His replacement, Tatsumi Kimishima, has since said the console is not the "next version of Wii or Wii U."

"It's something unique and different," he said earlier this month. "It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base."

The Wii was an overwhelming success, selling more than 100 million units worldwide, outpacing the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. More than three years into its life cycle, the Wii U has sold 10.73 million units as of September 30.

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