Nintendo's Next Controller May Have Scrolling Wheels Instead of Shoulder Buttons

New patent also indicates it will have a touch screen, only two face buttons.

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Nintendo has reportedly patented a new controller design that features scroll wheels where the shoulder buttons would traditionally be.

The patent, which was registered with the United States Patent Office and spotted by a user on NeoGAF, was originally filed in February of 2015, and shows a device similar in design to the current Wii U GamePad.

According to the document, the "wheel type operation section" has rotation detection and pressing detection, indicating it could work as as a traditional button input as well as a scrolling one.

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The wheels are explained in the context of being used by index fingers when it is held in both hands, or with the thumb if it is held by just one hand.

Other features of the device include the traditional directional buttons and two analogue sticks. Unlike most controllers, however, it features only two face buttons, instead of the usual four.

Diagrams of the device also shows it will have a touch screen, much like the Wii U GamePad.

Nintendo first announced it was actively working on its next gaming device in March 2015. Little is known about it, other than the codename NX .Some have speculated that the NX may bridge the gap between the company's home console and portable handheld gaming markets.

Former president Satoru Iwata said the NX aims to offer meaningful innovation.

"If you only expand upon existing hardware, it's dull," he said. "In some shape or form, we're always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person's video gaming life."

Pictured: An image of the device from the patent
Pictured: An image of the device from the patent

The Japanese gaming giant has committed to revealing more details about NX in 2016, but nothing before then.

Reports have suggested manufacturing for the NX is set to begin in October, with the console itself potentially launching next year. Nintendo previously assured Wii U and 3DS owners it would not abandon them in favour of their next platform.

"When NX is launched, there already will be a certain volume of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U hardware widely existing in the market, so from a software business perspective, it would be highly inefficient to stop releasing titles for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U right after the launch of NX," said Iwata.

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