A new crazy patent has appeared for Nintendo, this time for a controller that makes full use of free form display technology.
Since last year, rumors had already been spreading that Nintendo was working with Sharp to make use of their free form LCD screen technology for their future hardware. Nintendo apparently saw if fit to make a donut shaped screen for a portable.
Now, the patent is for a controller, which seems to have mashed up all of Nintendo’s unique patents into one. This controller has the familiar boomerang shape the DualShock and Xbox controllers have, but it does not have conventional button layouts.
Instead, the face of the controller has two ‘operating sticks’ that more closely resemble the 3DS circle pad than the conventional analog stick. These operating sticks can apparently also function as clickable buttons.
The real story, however, is that the whole front surface is a display panel. Rather than safely encased like in the Gamepad, the display screen extends to the edges of the front surface. This would seem to be the sort of thing only possible with free-from displays.
Of course, there’s more. The display panel is also a touch panel, which can use capacitive tech like smarpthones and tablets. The screen can also output stereoscopic 3D, like on the 3DS.
Nintendo is already thinking of using the display panel to provide contextual directions and feedback. In one crude example, a gun is illustrated on the left operating stick, so the player immediately understands they are using a gun with it. Other control schemes can direct players what direction to move their sticks for specific actions. What’s impressive here is that these can change on the fly.
Aside from the operating sticks, the controller also has left and right triggers, a speaker, and a card slot to insert things like game cartridges, memory cards, even SIMs.
I won’t ask you what you think of these patents; at this point no one can. What I want to know is are you excited or dreading this controller? Are you looking forward to the eventual reveal of the NX? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.