No, it’s not April 1st. Yeah, I sort of wish it was.
Not content with getting people to insert their fingers in things for fun, Nintendo has patented something called the Wii Horseback Riding Saddle. The what what now? The diagram above, found by Siliconera in the European patents database, explains it well enough: the Wii Saddle is an inflatable seat with accelerometers to detect movement and a pocket for the Wii remote. So this is what gaming has been missing.
These diagrams are amusing enough on their own (particularly the child with a receding hairline), but then I read Nintendo’s description of a hypothetical game for the peripheral, and things just got better and better:
“For example, the Wii main unit can display the back of a horse’s head and background of a trail, a field, a battlefield or other environment the virtual horse is being ridden through (see Figure 1A). The image may change in response to detected motion of the user.”
And there’s more! Nintendo’s patent suggests that the Saddle of LULZ could be used to ride vehicles such as hang gliders or a motorcycle, as well as virtual “bulls, camels, elephants, burros, dolphins, whales, dragons, griffons, unicorns, giant eagles.” Burros? BURROS?! I think this is officially the stage that Nintendo’s obsession with Wii novelty add-ons has finally gone beyond the realms of parody. I’d totally expect this kind of thing from The Onion, but it’s actually real.
Obviously, plenty of patents are registered and then don’t see the light of day. I hope this isn’t one of those, if only because it could be all kinds of hilarious.
[Cheers for the laugh, Siliconera]