An uncovered patent for a controller by Nintendo could point to the design of controller part of the much-anticipated Nintendo NX video game console, which could release as soon as next year. As with every single Nintendo controller to date since the Nintendo 64, the NX controller will be a significant departure from what the company has done previously if the patent proves even remotely similar.

The patent, initially discovered by a NeoGAF user and confirmed by Destructoid to be an actual patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, comes with an abstract that isn’t exactly clear:

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.

That’s just a fancy way of describing a controller with a front that’s basically one large flat display and “touch panel” with two “operation sticks” attached. There’s been speculation that Nintendo would be using Sharp’s free-form display technology in an upcoming console screen, and it certainly seems like this patent may point to its future use given that the whole thing’s a screen on one side.

And it’s honestly not that far away from what Nintendo’s already accomplished with the Wii U Gamepad. The screen in the middle basically makes the Gamepad a handheld console that needs the Wii U console nearby to function. This takes that concept and pushes it to the natural limit—the very edge of the controller itself with room only for buttons. Then again, maybe this concept never comes to light—or maybe it’s years out.

Via: Game Informer

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