Nintendo has filed a new patent for what appears to be a handheld device of some variety. The device is described in the patent as “a handheld information processing apparatus comprising a speaker and a vibrator”. Its primary purpose as described is “to provide a novel hand-held information processing apparatus”, and “to provide a hand held information processing apparatus capable of giving a higher sense of immersion”. The full patent for the Nintendo handheld patent can be viewed here.
The first image in the patent, featured above, shows us a touchscreen device with left and right speakers on the lower side of the device. The boxes drawn on the device in the image on the right show the placement of the left and right speakers, with a “vibrator” in the middle, presumably for haptic feedback. The three rectangles at the right side of the device are hardware keys, or “operating buttons” as the patent refers to them as. Further images, shown below, display a game screen with touch-based buttons and an example weapon selection screen.
The next image, and the implications of the patent text describing it are where some light gets shed on what this patent is. FIG. 8, seen below, shows a device with more traditional handheld controls. A D-pad, left stick, ABXY, and power button can be seen on the device. The description of this drawing reads “FIG. 8 is a perspective view obliquely viewing down a further non-limiting example information processing apparatus.” A very similar statement was made regarding FIG. 1, which tells us that (like most patents) these are not final designs, and the product Nintendo manufactures may look drastically different from those featured in this filing. The analog pad in FIG. 8 is reminiscent of the 3DS’s circle pad, but like everything else in the document, is non-limiting, with mentions of an analog stick further in the document. There are also mentions of depression input, assuming the stick is given a depressible housing. While it’s easy to get excited by these patents, they are often used to patent concepts and ideas, not necessarily definite products. We will likely see these features implemented into a future Nintendo device, but what form the device takes will likely be unknown until we get an official announcement.
A lot of the information presented in the patent is simply describing the pictured examples’ speakers, and “vibrator” in great detail, but some information can be gleaned from the filing. There are mentions of an accelerometer or gyroscopic sensor and potential applications outside of (but including) gaming, among other relatively common features. The device does seem to be video game centric, with the filing referring to users as “players”, and referencing games multiple times throughout the document. It also seems to use cards for information input, in the form of game or SD cards, vs a strictly digital or disc-based approach. While all of the information present is interesting, and potentially sheds some light on what Nintendo may be working on, it’s important to keep in mind that none of this may ever see the light of day. Many features fall in line with rumors of what the NX will have, but nothing is definite. So remain cautiously interested, and check back with us for any updates that may arise!