A patent application filed by Nintendo suggests that the mysterious NX gaming system might come with a gamepad featuring a touchscreen-based controller.
But, as noted by various sources, it is not yet clear if the patent is for the NX or for a totally new gaming device.
Based on the images of the prototype obtained by Geek.com, the entire housing of the unnamed gamepad looks a bit similar to that of the PlayStation 4 controller. However, unlike the latter which is filled with various buttons, the face of Nintenod's gamepad is occupied by a full screen. It also has two holes on the screen near the thumbs for control buttons. The top portion of the housing also sports two shoulder buttons for additional control options.
Renderings of the device also suggest that the locations of the touchscreen controls can change or be modified depending on the gameplay requirements.
For instance, during combat situations in role-playing games, controls for the spells, melee weapons, special attacks and other options can be placed near the two physical buttons near the thumb. This will enable the player to easily reach for these control options to perform certain maneuvers.
Another rendering of the gamepad showed a boss battle type of situation. In this scenario, touchscreen-based damage points are placed on the different body parts of the enemy or monster. Tapping on these points will then immediately cause damage to the boss.
The patent filing, however, did not indicate if the images and descriptions pertain to the NX system. As Cinemablend noted, gaming companies are quite known for working on various side projects.
However, the document coincides with Nintendo's desire to enter the mobile gaming market. A previously noted by the company, it aims to develop mobile games along with titles for traditional consoles.
Through the leaked gamepad, the company will be able to deliver a gaming device that has the practicality functionality of a mobile device such as a smartphone while maintaining the familiar gameplay experience of console controllers.
But, as seen in previous reports, patent filings are not clear indicators that a new device or product will arrive soon in the market. There have already been several instances where a company filed a patent for a new project but then it took several years before the new device or gadget debuted. Or, in some cases, the company abandoned the project entirely despite filing a patent for it.
Hopefully though, Nintendo will proceed with the mysterious gamepad device even if it will not be the NX. Based on its patent filing, the touchscreen controller could be a revolutionary step in the world of mobile gaming.