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Nintendo patents are on the rise as today another patent application from the company has surfaced. While Nintendo’s name wasn’t officially mentioned anywhere in the application, its involvement has been made obvious by the the five inventors that are listed, who all work for Nintendo.

This time, it looks like Nintendo is covering its handheld bases. The device in question features an elliptical touchscreen that covers the entire top surface area. However, the design of the device is more like that of a console’s controller, so this could possibly tie into Nintendo’s other recent patent, the NX, or an entirely new project still unknown to us.

You can read the patent’s abstract below for a little more information.

“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 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.”


Judging from the abstract and the figures included in the application, it’s a pretty interesting route that Nintendo has taken. Normally in the gaming industry, we see an addition of buttons and features on controllers and handhelds with every new generation, but with a touchscreen covering the entirety of the surface area, the need for that becomes moot.

There are some other interesting features mentioned throughout the patent application, but to save you the trouble of having to read through all the technical information regarding them, we’ll touch on them briefly here.

It’s noted that the use of the display panel allows for stereoscopic viewing with the naked eye, which in layman’s terms means it’ll allow for 3D viewing, just like the 3DS. Additionally, because of the shape of the display panel, it’s “possible to make an aspect ration thereof comparable to a ratio (16:9).” In case you didn’t know, this is the most common display aspect ratio of computer screens, which makes this tidbit of information both extremely curious and interesting.

The two other notable features on the device are a card slot at the very top (presumably for game cards, again much like the 3DS) and a speaker.


The figures shown as examples in the application definitely regard this more as its own handheld, however the look of the device, again, feels much more controller-esque. This is definitely suspicious in regards to the handheld console integration rumored to be a big part of the NX. Personally, I can’t see a design like this being a handheld of its own.

Lastly, some of you may remember last year, when it was rumored that Nintendo was in talks with Sharp about using their then-new Free-Form Display technology in the future. The two companies already had a preexisting relationship, with Sharp’s technology providing the 3D display on the 3DS. A lot of people suspect that this is where that’s finally coming into play.

It’s important to remember that just because this application has surfaced does not mean that any of the figures are going to resemble final designs, or if the plans for this device will go through at all. This could very well end up in the idea graveyard. Still, keep your eyes out for more information regarding it, because it could also be Nintendo’s next big thing. You never know!

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.