Nintendo Patents Show Off Intriguing Ideas

Companies file patents all the time. In fact, a vast majority of technology companies, such as Sony, Microsoft, and yes, even Nintendo, will file hundreds of patents just incase they ever want to action an idea down the road. In the barrage of patents, every now and again a real world product will emerge. In most cases the patents for these are under lock and key until after the product is already revealed to the public. So, there’s a good chance that the three patents published today from Nintendo won’t appear in any products anytime soon. Still, there’s a chance, and it’s always fun to see what’s cooking at Nintendo. Special thanks to Disorientator on NeoGAF for his diligence in searching out Nintendo patents.

The first two are similar to ones that Nintendo has applied for in the past. They illustrate ways in which a handheld device can see and register hand gestures. In fact, in one related patent from earlier in the year, the device could also project images from the controller onto hands or walls. These gesture patents are here and here.

The more interesting one shows off how controller pieces can be connected to a device. The device would have infrared cameras to detect the button, sticks, and dial movements. This patent raises some eyebrows because the latest rumors have been talking about the NX having detachable controllers. Perhaps this patent is explaining ways in which these could work? Or maybe Nintendo will end up selling different types of accessory add-ons for the device. Then again, it could be nothing at all related to the NX.


An example accessory can be attached to an information processing device. The accessory includes a housing, a movable operation section, and a movable portion. An inside of the housing is visible from an outside thereof through at least a portion thereof. At least a portion of the operation section is exposed on the outside of the housing. The movable portion is placed at a position inside the housing that is visible from the outside of the housing through the portion of the housing. A position and/or an attitude of the movable portion changes in response to the operation section being operated.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer until Nintendo officially shows off the NX. Rumors have been pointing to September. Time will tell if these patents are related. For now, speculate away!


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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