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Nintendo hasn’t said anything about its next console, the NX, other than its code name and that we’ll get more information this year. However, images similar to a rough patent sketch have appeared online leaving people wondering.
The images posted to Reddit resemble the shape and display seen in a Nintendo patent uncovered in December 2015. That patent, while assumed to be for the NX, wasn't clearly labeled as such. The images above and below were posted by a user going by the name of “Perkele37.”
He or she says that this is a dev-kit. There are no face buttons, only the upper parts of the sticks move (similar to the 3DS circle pad), and there are rollers similar to mouse scroll wheels near the top. Perkele37 also suggests that there is some form of gentle haptic feedback and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom.
We have no way of assessing the veracity of these claims, nor do we know if the images are authentic. However, given the similarity to patent images and Nikkei’s report yesterday that Nintendo is winding down Wii U production, NX is on gamers’ minds.
As console launches approach, get ready for a flood of rumors and supposed hardware images. Only time will tell if these are faked to resemble the patent or if design simply hasn’t strayed from the drawing.
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A June patent published today by Nintendo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office features a controller dominated by a touchscreen.
A NeoGAF user spotted the patent on freepatentsonline.com and Destructoid uncovered the filing with the USPTO.
The patent's wordy abstract (text below) describes a controller with a display panel/touch panel, buttons, and two sticks. It's partially obscured in the shot above, but the controller has handles on either side to grip the unit like a typical controller.
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.
While the picture and text clearly demonstrates a controller, whether it's for the NX, something else, or used at all by Nintendo remains to be seen.
Patents should always be taken with a grain of salt, but there have been previous Nintendo patents with a display screen, and it's well within the realm of possibility.
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A patent filed by Nintendo back in February may offer some hints about the Nintendo NX, or some other forthcoming hardware.
The patent was filed six months ago and published publicly two days ago. NeoGAF found the patent and pointed out a number of oddities about the hardware, which is defined as a, "stationary game apparatus, game apparatus, game system, recording medium and speed control method." The first few terms make it pretty clear it is not a handheld system, but the last few terms, which refer to the hardware as a recording medium and speed control method, are less clear.
Some of the aforementioned oddities include a controller with a display screen (like the Wii U, perhaps) and a the lack of an optical disc drive. There is, however, a card slot which leads to speculation that this game console will not use discs and could perhaps use downloadable content exclusively, or its games will be sold on a cartridge compatible with the card slot. The patent also shows an external hard drive and a communication unit (i.e. the Internet).
Nintendo announced work on a mysterious new console in March codenamed the NX. Little is known about the hardware other than we will learn more about it next year, and that it will be friendly with PCs and mobile devices. You can check out the full patent for the device on the US Patent and Trademark Office website by following the link.
We've reached out to Nintendo for more details about the patent and will update this story if we're able to add new details.
It's entirely possible that this could be a redesigned model of the Wii U with no disc drive. Every Wii U game released is available on the eShop meaning the lack of a disc drive wouldn't limit game selection options. It also has many of the same specifications, like the external hard drive and a controller with a screen. Maybe it's a Wii U with a DS game slot? Obviously, the more exciting speculation is this is early patented concept work for whatever NX is, but I am less confident that that's what we're looking at here.