Although the Nintendo NX is set to be released sometime early next year, much of the information surrounding what features the NX’s has are still unclear. There has been some leaked information before – some claiming that the NX will be a hybrid, a sort of mixture of both a handheld and a console – yet most of this leaked information wasn’t supported with anything Nintendo ever officially released. But according to Polygon, yesterday Nintendo released several patents online, which they filed back in January of this year to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent, although lengthy and dense is essentially supporting the theory previously reported, which stated that the NX will feature detachable controllers and will also be a type of hybrid, connecting to televisions – playing like a home console. It’s not exactly clear what Nintendo wants to do with this patent, or what they plan to use it for, but with the release of Nintendo NX not too far away, this has many people thinking that the patent is most likely tied to the NX. The patent confirms add-on controllers on a portable console and will also have a bigger screen. The image below demonstrates the patent detailing the attachable controllers:
Apart from the detachable controllers, one interesting feature that is included in the patent is the infrared detectors:
The camera in the portable housing would be able to sense default and depressed positions for the buttons. Each of the surface buttons would be connected to a piece that has a bit that can be detected by the infrared camera. Different positions sensed by the camera would then be translated into inputs similar to how standard, circuit-based controllers work now.
This means that the controller will detect players’ button pressing via infrared camera. This technology will be a camera that will be on the handheld system and will capture gesture information from a player’s hand (this will be how you’ll control the game). It will essentially eliminate the need for a controller altogether. Nintendo has previously dabbled with the idea of motion control with the Wii in 2007, but, judging by the patent’s sketches, this level of motion control looks to be a lot more ambitious.
Nintendo is still targeting March of 2017 as the release date for their NX, but hopefully by then the will release more information about their next system. However, it’s clear that all the rumors surrounding its release that the NX will be ambitious to say the least.