• 112 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Avatar image for austin_walker
Posted by austin_walker (561 posts) -
Remember: The whole of that big elliptical area is a touch screen.
Remember: The whole of that big elliptical area is a touch screen.

Over the last few months there's been a ton of speculation about what Nintendo's next gaming platform, codenamed NX, might look like. Now a new patent has added some fuel to the speculative fire.

Originally filed last June, this new patent application was published yesterday and came to light via a NeoGaf post. Though Nintendo's name is absent from the patent, the names of all five filers of the patent are of Nintendo employees, and the patent itself seems to reflect a report from last year which indicated that the company would be purchasing "Free Form" display screens from Sharp.

The patent is for a hand-held device featuring a wide, elliptical touchscreen that houses a card slot, two "operation sticks" towards the left and right edges of the screen, and also has two additional operation buttons on the top of the controller (effectively "L" and "R" buttons). The operation sticks (which look like pentagonal buttons in the patent's illustrations) can be moved in different directions or pressed in like buttons. In short: It's a touchscreen device with built in buttons and control sticks.

The patent also reveals that the function of pressing in either of the sticks can be changed by first touching a virtual button on the unit's touchscreen or by sliding the stick in a certain direction. Hard to understand? Okay, well, let's look at these two figures from the patent:

No Caption Provided

In figure 11, you can imagine an RPG where pressing one of the virtual buttons (marked 120 on the figure) changes your character's equipped weapon, which then changes what pressing in a thumbstick does. Figure 15 depicts a system for inputting writing (in this instance, writing Japanese syllabics with English characters). Numbers 204 and 206 aren't physical or virtual buttons, they're indicators as to what would happen if you slid the operating stick in that direction and then pressed it in--it's a little like the power wheels popularized by the Mass Effect series. It's a control system that I can see working (at least for Nintendo's first party games), but it also feels much more limited than every other currently popular controller layout.

Of course, this should all come with the standard set of caveats about patents like this. Many companies file patent applications for devices they never mass produce. Plus, this particular patent is from last year, so even if this is a look at the NX (or the NX's controller or handheld component, at least), the final product may be pretty different from these illustrations. Even if we take the patent as face value, a lot of questions remain. It's not clear if this device is meant as a fully standalone system (though it does include an onboard processor, RAM, and a card slot), or if it's meant to also communicate with a hub system, as many of the NX rumors have suggested.

One thing that is very clear though: The little character who shows up in all of the patent drawings is rad as hell. As NeoGaf user DownGrader notes, "He wanders, squats, jumps, takes cover, shoots the dinosaur (which causes the dino to explode) and plays soccer. He should be the mascot of NX." Just look!

No Caption Provided

Expressionless and fleeing alone through a desolate world on an unpredictable road. Finally, a mascot for the millennial generation. I'm so on board.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#1 Posted by ripelivejam (13106 posts) -

nintendo being werid again. get out the pitchforks!!

Avatar image for onionknight14
#2 Posted by OnionKnight14 (112 posts) -

For some reason all I can focus on is the inclusion of a pentagonal stick boundary instead of octagonal like an old joystick...

It's really interesting nonetheless. I can see this being a really creative way of increasing screen real estate while having full game pad capabilities.

Avatar image for kevin_cogneto
#3 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1886 posts) -

We've gone full circle, right back to Tiger Electronics.

Avatar image for dudeglove
#4 Posted by dudeglove (13684 posts) -

The eff is up with 18a

Avatar image for boniti
#5 Edited by Boniti (131 posts) -

This is weeeeird. I can't imagine this actually happening, how could they produce titles for their popular franchises on a platform like this? As we're seeing with the Wii U, people care a whole lot about new Zeldas and Marios more than anything else but I can't see a Zelda on this. and 3rd party support would be even more hopeless than before if you're dealing with a bizarre, non-16:9 elliptical screen (although the fact that the screen extends beyond the sticks is pretty cool) and only 4 physical buttons. Also, this has to be some sort of streaming device because the on board processing power on this thing would end up being pretty low, right?

Also, why are the analog sticks pentagons again?!?

Avatar image for stevevacation
#6 Posted by SteveVacation (400 posts) -

I'm hesitant to say anything based on a patent but maaaaaaaaaaaan this is not what I want. I don't want to have to use a touch screen for anything that requires precision. It's a weird, crazy thing, and I'll judge it when the NX is shown, but things look grim, and I say this as a diehard Nintendo fan.

Avatar image for johnnymcginley
#7 Posted by johnnymcginley (515 posts) -

Cool.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b031d0e868a5
#8 Posted by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

Its not the NX but instead the comeback of the Game & Watch!

Actually it kinda does look a little Game & Watch like to me.

Avatar image for ghost_cat
#9 Posted by ghost_cat (2240 posts) -

What a weirdo!

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#10 Posted by ripelivejam (13106 posts) -

So I take it everyone just wants Nintendo to make the same old box as Sony/MS, and not try to do anything new/unique? That always seems to be the impression I get whenever there's reveals/info on new Ninitendo hardware nowadays.

Avatar image for cmblasko
#11 Posted by cmblasko (2907 posts) -

That's a pretty cool concept but it is not really what I want from Nintendo.

So I take it everyone just wants Nintendo to make the same old box as Sony/MS, and not try to do anything new/unique? That always seems to be the impression I get whenever there's reveals/info on new Ninitendo hardware nowadays.

I want something new, don't know what that new thing is but it is not this.

Consumers! We are confusing and fickle!

Avatar image for oursin_360
#12 Posted by OurSin_360 (6119 posts) -

I hope that's a separate new handheld, and they completely change the design cause it's super ugly. It reminds me of the ps3 boomerang controllers.

Touch controls are ok for simple games but i wouldn't rely on them for any kind of precision, especially in something like a nintendo platformer.

Avatar image for paulmako
#13 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Austin and patents are reunited at last.

Avatar image for shindig
#14 Posted by Shindig (4835 posts) -

I'd wait to see a proper prototype. Hell, I need one in my hands before I can judge. If that's the extent of the NX then I can be happy as I'm getting to the stage where another box in my life needs to be discreet.

Avatar image for bribo
#15 Posted by Bribo (735 posts) -

This seems crazy, maybe even stupid, but I'm kind of into it.

Avatar image for dichemstys
#16 Edited by Dichemstys (3921 posts) -

Sweet! This kinda reminds me of the Classic Controller.

Avatar image for rafaelfc
#17 Edited by Rafaelfc (2243 posts) -

Not ready for the future of gaming on egg-shaped monitors where parts of the screen are obscured by fat buttons.

NEXT!

Avatar image for alexgbro
#18 Posted by AlexGBRO (461 posts) -

hmm ok this is the nx portable that is also a controller for the nx console the real qustion how much does this thing cost to make, the wii u gamepad is over 100$ in japan standalone i wonder how much is this ?

Avatar image for sterling
#20 Edited by Sterling (4134 posts) -

Its going to be called the Nintendo U.

Avatar image for coldwolven
#21 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2530 posts) -

This would just seem like Nintendo doubling down on second screen experiences built within the controller which feels contradictory to Kimishima san talking about how different the NX will be.

Avatar image for whitegreyblack
#22 Posted by whitegreyblack (1949 posts) -

This would just seem like Nintendo doubling down on second screen experiences built within the controller which feels contradictory to Kimishima san talking about how different the NX will be.

The patent was originally filed when Iwata-san was still in charge of Nintendo.

Avatar image for eribuster
#23 Posted by Eribuster (934 posts) -

I could see this working for a handheld console. Action games will suffer from the lack of buttons and tactile feedback, but think of all the neat things you can do with RPGs, strategy games, and puzzle games. Those genres seem to be better suited for a handheld platform.

This would just seem like Nintendo doubling down on second screen experiences built within the controller which feels contradictory to Kimishima san talking about how different the NX will be.

If this was a handheld console first and a controller second, then it wouldn't be as contradictory.

Also, you can't discount the possibility that what Nintendo thinks they need to get away from with the Wii and Wii U are not what you and I would think. This is still Nintendo, remember.

Avatar image for oldenglishc
#24 Posted by oldenglishc (1544 posts) -

So if we go by the rumors so far: The NX is an android console with no optical drive. Has a Wii U game pad with less buttons and a round screen that can also be used as a portable system. Makes phone calls. And can improve your quality of life by staring at and silently judging you while you sleep.

Avatar image for soulcake
#25 Posted by soulcake (2646 posts) -

Reminds me of the ps3 boomerang controller.

Online
Avatar image for zeik
#26 Posted by Zeik (5185 posts) -

No buttons no sale. We have plenty of evidence from all the mobile games these days that digital analog and buttons don't work.

Avatar image for unclejohn0525
#27 Posted by unclejohn0525 (411 posts) -
Avatar image for belowstupid
#28 Posted by BelowStupid (495 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

That's a pretty cool concept but it is not really what I want from Nintendo.

@ripelivejam said:

So I take it everyone just wants Nintendo to make the same old box as Sony/MS, and not try to do anything new/unique? That always seems to be the impression I get whenever there's reveals/info on new Ninitendo hardware nowadays.

I want something new, don't know what that new thing is but it is not this.

Consumers! We are confusing and fickle!

It needs to be based on industry standards (an actual controller, at the very least as powerful as PS/XB for third parties) but they need to branch out from that base and make it unique. The Wii U was a great idea, but I didn't get one because it's power was obsolete years before it came out so third parties ran away. Nintendo can be as cute and unique as they want, but it's ultimately the technology/horsepower that excites third parties that decides the winner.

Avatar image for benmo316
#29 Posted by Benmo316 (1088 posts) -

This is.... interesting. My first thought was GTFO! But then I took a deep breath and I could see how this could be pretty cool.

I can't help but think this is just a merging of mobile touch screen and a controller (and I'm not a fan of that). My other issue is if this is just the GamePad to the console that will play on a TV. I hate dual screens like the Wii U and 3DS.

But then I think to myself, I would rather have the controller above on-the-go over a 3DS or Vita or phone. I'm just torn on if I like this or not (but then again this could all mean nothing).

Avatar image for chicken008
#30 Posted by Chicken008 (1146 posts) -

@zeik: Reading with your eyes closed is a bad idea.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ab2c5344517a
#31 Posted by deactivated-5ab2c5344517a (131 posts) -

Ugh... Just make a normal fucking thing! I just bought a 3ds for the first time and neither of my thumb sticks are actually any good to use. My left 'stick' is a circle that slides around in a 2d plane and my right 'stick' is one of those terrible clit mice from a Thinkpad. I'd much rather have actual sticks like a Vita.

Avatar image for oldenglishc
#32 Posted by oldenglishc (1544 posts) -

@benmo316 said:

(but then again this could all mean nothing).

This is the real answer. It's just a rough sketch for a patent.

Avatar image for scrawnto
#33 Posted by Scrawnto (2558 posts) -

Anyone concerned about the look of this thing should realize that this is just a patent, not a blueprint. They can use this tech in something they make without making it look just like this.

Avatar image for exogen
#34 Edited by exogen (184 posts) -

Virtual buttons and joysticks do not function well for gaming, especially in a 3d environment, but even for an action based 2d environment like, well...Mario.

I find them inferior to physical controls in every sense, but I also am well aware that if anyone can make this kind of thing work properly it is Nintendo.

I'll reserve my judgement for the time being either way.

Avatar image for rethla
#35 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

The lack of a good controller will continue to be the Achilles heel of Nintendo. Any more breaking news? some more emotes for sale in Destiny perhaps?

Avatar image for takoyaki
#36 Edited by Takoyaki (313 posts) -

Having the screen around the sticks like that seems a bit odd, won't a lot of it just be covered by your thumbs? Seems like a waste of rendering power and battery time. Not having any buttons other than clicking in the sticks and L/R seems super limiting as well. Couldn't imagine playing something like Monster Hunter on that. Slower games like Pokémon and Animal Crossing would probably be fine though.

Avatar image for rejizzle
#37 Posted by Rejizzle (1083 posts) -

The wheel clicky idea seems neat. I guess the idea would be that, with the outer touchscreen along the side of the analog sticks, a game can have as many or as few virtual buttons as needed without getting into the main rectangular play area. I kinda like it, but Nintendo does seem to bring out the optimist in me, for better or for worse.

Avatar image for zeik
#38 Posted by Zeik (5185 posts) -

@zeik: Reading with your eyes closed is a bad idea.

It saves a lot of effort though.

Avatar image for bmccann42
#39 Posted by bmccann42 (395 posts) -

Nope, no thanks.

I'm sure it will be used in some way for Nintendo first party stuff, but will third parties actually want to program for this?

Will Nintendo put out something that is actually ahead of the current gen, or will this be underpowered again so Nintendo can turn a profit on the hardware?

Avatar image for clagnaught
#40 Posted by clagnaught (2111 posts) -

This seems...kinda nuts. Who knows if this turns into a product or how close it will be to this patent or a million other things, but it certainly is intriguing.

Avatar image for stop420snitchin
#41 Edited by Stop420Snitchin (29 posts) -

Stay with me and forget about this weird albeit interesting controller......I haven't owned an Nintendo console since the GameCube, on which I remember playing the MGS Remake, the Resident Evil Remake, Resident Evil 4, And Wind Waker. Nothing else on that console stands in my memory. Odd controllers and weak hardware made the decision to skip their last two consoles an easy one. What if the rumors of "industry leading tech in the NX" were true? How awesome and refreshing it would be to boot up a power house console and see a beaming high resolution Nintendo logo. That would end my Nintendo hiatus. It would not generate Wii levels of fervor, but the old Nintendo fans would return, lined up around the block and in Que online.

Microsoft sees this develop and comparatively weak sales vs Sony prompt them to jump in the next race early with some sort of hybrid Windows 10 modular device. All this ocuring while the VR race is heating up.

I wouldn't bet my last dollar on this scenario, but one can hope.

Avatar image for davidh219
#42 Edited by davidh219 (904 posts) -

Seems crazy, but I remember thinking they were fucking nuts when I first saw what the Wii U was, and now I love the absolute shit out of that console. Nintendo's the only company making anything other than homogeneous boxes with the same basic controller design we've been using since 1998. I for one couldn't be happier about that. People need to give up their dumbass dream of Nintendo being the graphics leader of the industry and having the go-to third-party console so that they don't have to get two consoles every generation. That's not the reality we live in, and there's not a damn thing wrong with that so get over it already.

Avatar image for sobafett
#43 Posted by SlackerMonkey (152 posts) -

Th...there's no d-pad.....THERE'S NO D-PAD! Madmen!

Perhaps if this were shaped like a giant star instead though...now we're talking gold.

Avatar image for bicycle_repairman
#44 Edited by Bicycle_Repairman (672 posts) -

What if this entire controller was designed not for us, but for kids right now. Kids that grew up more accustomed with a touch screen than anything else. Those who play mine craft on their tablets and angry birds on their phone.

Nintendo has the label as the company for children. Perhaps this is their gamble to capture an entire new generation of "gamers".

I could be completely wrong, but I found it an interesting thought experiment.

Avatar image for evilsbane
#45 Posted by Evilsbane (5618 posts) -

I really hope that if this is the final design that Nintendo can nail the non-physical buttons, it could change the landscape of smartphones since almost all "digital" buttons are total shit.

Avatar image for slag
#46 Posted by Slag (8155 posts) -

If this thing can be played on TV, it could be super rad.

I just hope the Virtual Console stuff is handled well.

So I take it everyone just wants Nintendo to make the same old box as Sony/MS, and not try to do anything new/unique? That always seems to be the impression I get whenever there's reveals/info on new Ninitendo hardware nowadays.

What I think people really want is to be able to play Nintendo games on their primary gaming platform of choice. That will never happen for good reason unless Nintendo makes another mainstream high powered vanilla console ala the Gamecube. I get why someone may not be super excited to buy a console exclusively to just play one or two of their favorite franchises.

But yeah anything that Nintendo makes that gives the impression that it isn't going to be a primary platform for existing third party stuff always draws knee jerk groans.

Avatar image for sojak
#47 Edited by Sojak (9 posts) -

Do not want!

Avatar image for nickhead
#48 Posted by nickhead (1256 posts) -

Strange but possibly interesting? The idea of buttons appearing when needed is a cool concept and I wonder if there would be freedom to place them anywhere around the sticks, or if they would be set locations.

Avatar image for scantenii
#49 Posted by scantenii (18 posts) -

It is tough to really have a opinion about it until you really see how it feels in your hands.

Avatar image for redhotchilimist
#50 Posted by Redhotchilimist (2947 posts) -

No thanks! Still don't want innovation in controller inputs. I feel pretty good about what we have got. If the portable part of the NX is a touchscreen controller, then whatever. There were a few games on the DS that are played almost entirely with a touch screen, but I don't feel like Phantom Hourglass would have been much worse even if you couldn't directly draw the path of the boomerang or the rails for your own boat.