Images of a patent filed by Nintendo clearly support rumors that have been about the Nintendo NX console having detachable controllers. However, there also appears to be something extra that hints at the NX also having gesture support. So let’s dig a little deeper into what information surrounds these patents.
First seen on the NeoGaf site, these patents are very similar to the ones published by Eurogamer. However, the actual patents were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and if you’re not aware, patent documents can be extremely detailed, so I will not be discussing them in detail. However, I will talk about what the images in the patents reveal.
As you will see in the image below, the first patent is for what looks like a detachable controller which connects to the side of what could be the Nintendo NX console. According to the patent, the controller device sends information to the console using an infrared camera instead of electric signals and can read button presses and other controller actions as quick as, if not faster than standard control pad technology.
A NeoGaf user called Disorientator recently said:
“It’s basically a plastic shell with the camera/software doing all the work, which removes the need for any electrical components, potentially lowering the cost of the device.”
The second patent refers to what can only be described as gesture control, which comes as a surprise because no one expected Nintendo to include this technology in the Nintendo NX.
The language used in the patent document describes a gesture control system that can be utilized instead of using handheld controllers. In fact, it states that the device can be used without the need for handheld controls altogether. As for how this works, like the controllers above, an infrared camera inside the NX console would be able to track the movements of a user’s hands and then translate the information back into the user interface and the game that’s being played.
The latest Nintendo NX rumors
Here are a few of the most recent rumors about the NX console. Some are expected to be quite close to the mark. However, others have no foundation at all.
A rumor published by DigiTimes suggests that mass production of the Nintendo NX will begin in early 2017; however, this goes against what Nintendo hinted at in a recent statement.
According to DigiTimes:
“Sources from the related upstream supply chain pointed out that the delay was because Nintendo wished to enhance the game console’s video-game/handheld-game-integrated gaming experience and add virtual reality (VR) function into the system to gain advantages in the upcoming video game and mobile game competitions.”
As for which company will actually make the console, DigiTimes suggests that Foxconn, Hosiden, and Misumi will take care of production in Japan, while the Taiwanese components will be provided by Marcronix, Pixart Imaging, and Delta Electronics.
Reports are claiming that the Nintendo NX will feature a 5-by-7-inch display and come with a controller and joystick so that it can be used as a mobile gaming device. However, it will also reportedly be able to connect to a TV so it can be used as a traditional console system.
With the recent release of patent and trademark information about what are likely different parts of the NX system, many users have been hoping for some more detail about the rumored return to cartridge use. The listing for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild specifies both discs and cartridges, which could mean that this game will be produced in both disc and cartridge form. So this could be confirmation that the Nintendo NX will use both cartridges and digital downloads, as talked about around the Internet.
With Sony and its PlayStation VR headset set to launch later this year and Microsoft talking about making the Xbox Scorpio VR-capable, a recent rumor has suggested that Nintendo could be looking to get in on the action with the NX.
However, this was apparently fueled by the NX having its launch date pushed back from Christmas 2016 to March 2017, and it also goes against what Nintendo itself has stated in the past. But it does have a reputation for doing things that most do not expect it too, so it’s best to watch this space.
With the release of the Patent information, Nintendo’s intentions appear to have become much clearer. I personally think that we can now begin to settle with the idea that the Nintendo NX will be a hybrid console, something that Nintendo hopes to open up a new market with.