New Nintendo Patent Reveals Controller With Free-Form Display and Touch Screen

on December 11, 2015 12:50 AM

Another patent has emerged from Nintendo, titled ” Game Apparatus and Information Processing Apparatus.” This patent showcases a controller with a free-form display and touch screen properties.

According to the abstract:

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.

Then there’s a full description of what the controller looks like and how it displays information:

With reference to FIG. 1, a non-limiting example information processing apparatus 10 includes a housing 12, and a display panel 14 constitutes one main surface (front surface) of the housing 12. As the display panel 14, an LCD, EL, etc. can be used, for example. Furthermore, as the display panel 14, it is possible to use a display panel allowing stereoscopic view with naked eyes. In such a case, an LCD of a parallax barrier system or an LCD of a lenticular system using a sheet with unevenness (lenticular lens) is used, for example.

Furthermore, since the display panel 14 is made into an oblong form as mentioned above, it is possible to make an aspect ratio thereof comparable to a ratio (16:9) of a wide screen.

Although not shown in FIG. 1(A) and FIG. 1(B), a touch panel 16 is provided on the front surface of the display panel 14, and the touch panel 16 is set the same form (size) as the display panel 14 in this embodiment. That is, the touch panel 16 is also an oblong form, and an elliptical form that a part of a long side of a lower end is made into a form of a straight line. Therefore, it is possible to perform a touch input in almost a whole of a display area of the display panel 14. However, the touch panel 16 may be an elliptical form as similar to the form of the front surface of the first portion 12a. Furthermore, as the touch panel 16, a touch panel of an electrostatic capacitance system or a resistance film system can be used.

Furthermore, the information processing apparatus 10 comprises a first operation stick 18a, a second operation stick 18b, a first operation button 20a and a second operation button 20b. The first operation stick 18a is provided in a position operable by the thumb of the left hand when the player holds the information processing apparatus 10 with one hand or both hands, and similarly, the second operation stick 18b is provided in a position operable by the thumb of the right hand. Furthermore, the first operation button 20a is provided in a position operable by the index finger of the left hand when the player holds the information processing apparatus 10 with both hands, and similarly, the second operation button 20b is provided in a position operable by the index finger of the right hand. In this embodiment, the first operation button 20a and the second operation button 20b are provided on a side surface of the first portion 12a. More specifically, the first operation button 20a is provided in a left end portion of an upper surface of the housing 12, and the second operation button 20b is provided in a right end portion of the upper surface of the housing 12.

Furthermore, a card slot 40 is provided in a center portion of the upper surface of the housing 12. The card slot 40 can be attached with various kinds of card storage media such as a game cartridge, an SD card, a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, etc. Therefore, the information processing apparatus 10 reads (acquires) a program and data from the card storage medium that is attached to the card slot 40, or writes a program and data into a card storage medium. It should be noted that the program is a program for an application such as a game, and the data is data used for processing of the application. Furthermore, in some cases, a personal authentication may be performed.

In addition, although omitted in FIG. 1(A) and FIG. 1(B), the information processing apparatus 10 comprises a speaker 64 (see FIG. 19), and the speaker 64 is provided inside the housing 12, for example. However, a hole for outputting a sound from the speaker 64 to outside the housing 12 is provided in a portion other than the display area of the display panel 14, i.e., a side surface or the rear surface of the housing 12.

In further sections, the display (which we know to be a touch screen) is described to feature on-screen buttons in lieu of actual physical buttons. In one of the figures there’s even a special display used for inserting characters (Japanese characters in this case).

The controller sounds quite interesting; hopefully more information comes out soon, including an official confirmation on whether the device is Nintendo NX related. You can check out the images below to see the controller or go here for full patent information.

 /  Staff Writer
A Reviews Editor at DualShockers who is always looking to improve her writing and delve deeper into the industry. She is shamelessly in love with JRPGs and can easily rack up 100+ hours from level grinding alone. Even though she graduated from Hofstra University with a B.A. in Public Relations, her talent and wisdom (read: blind luck) landed her a job at DualShockers, where she continues to plot her escape by betraying their secrets for power and world domination.
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