Speculation that the NX will have a portable component has just been given a little extra credibility after analysis of a patent filed by Nintendo in 2014. The NX is due out in March next year but still largely remains a mystery after Nintendo chose not to show it at this year’s E3. One widely-supported theory among gamers is that the console will have a portable aspect and the newly-published patent for a “hand-held information processing apparatus” that can transmit to a separate game apparatus strengthens the case for it.
Filed in Japan in December 2014, the patent describes a “hand-held information processing apparatus, comprising: a housing; two speakers provided in left and right of an inside of the housing with an interval; and a vibrator provided in the inside of the housing, and vibrated with a pattern according to an arbitrary input waveform”. The patent emphasizes the device’s capability for gradually varying the sound between the speakers on either side while vibrating in proportion to the volume of sound being emitted. A character moveng from right to left on the screen can be transferred to the player by the sound along with the vibration. The device will also be able to detect how it is being held based on an acceleration sensor and vary the speaker output accordingly.
It also has a display panel capable of touch input and can communicate wirelessly with a “further computer” or “other game apparatus”. There also appears to be a separate housing that can be placed over the top and has physical controller inputs.
While this all sounds very interesting, remember that a patent is just legal protection for an idea or invention, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will come to fruition. This specific patent may also be something different that Nintendo is working on and not related to the NX. All we know about the NX is that “It’s different and obviously a new experience. I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base,” according to a statement by Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima.
What do you think? Does this patent strengthen the belief that the NX will have a portable aspect?