Nintendo NX Controller: Patent Filed For Nintendo 3DS Successor, NX Release Is Likely To Be A Handheld Console

There’s currently widespread speculation around Nintendo’s next console release, which has been codenamed the NX. However, Nintendo themselves have remained largely hush around the new console and what form it will take. Nintendo is, of course, well known for manufacturing both home and handheld consoles, leaving many to question which path they’ll take with their NX. However, that’s a question that may now have been answered by a recent patent application by Nintendo.

According to IGN, Nintendo recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as is customary before they prepare to announce a new console. The documents very clearly mark Nintendo’s patented device as a handheld unit, which is incredibly likely to be the upcoming NX console.

Nintendo has seen a good deal of success in recent years with their DS line-up of handheld systems, which were succeeded by the 3DS. The entire console family was best known for its use of dual screens. However, that’s a precedent Nintendo looks to be breaking away from with the release of this new handheld device. The documents mark the device as a “handheld information processing apparatus”, which has a single screen, with what appears to be touch screen interactivity coupled with built-in speakers and a vibration system.

The patent documents filed by Nintendo were also surprisingly quite detailed. Nintendo used the images within the documentation to demonstrate exactly how gameplay would work on the device that is assumed to be the upcoming NX. One image appears to show a button overlay on a gameplay screen, demonstrating controlling gameplay and weapon selection. However, the inclusion of on-screen controls shouldn’t be seen as Nintendo dismissing physical buttons, with further images supporting their inclusion.

One of the designs included by Nintendo as part of their patent application is visually similar to the lower half of their current 3DS system. A clearly prominent aspect of the design is Nintendo’s signature ABXY button layout, coupled with both a circle pad and d-pad, both also signature to Nintendo’s modern console design.


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Nintendo first released the 3DS back in 2011, and the console is now over five years old. With that in mind, you’d more than expect Nintendo to be ready to launch a new handheld console. However, according to the Verge, that might not necessarily be the case, with the 3DS still seeing regular game releases and Nintendo receiving a good deal of success through it. However, the fact still remains that the 3DS’ technology is quickly becoming outdated, and Nintendo needs to do something about that.

If the NX does transpire to be a handheld release, Nintendo will be looking to mimic a large portion of the success they’ve received with the 3DS. With their handheld releases, Nintendo has always avoided impressive technical specifications, whilst instead opting to provide their consoles with a stellar line-up of releases. It’s a strategy that has definitely paid off for Nintendo, with the 3DS essentially pushing Sony’s PlayStation Vita out of the handheld video games market in recent years.

However, the decision to ditch their now infamous second screen with this patented device could prove to be something of a risky one for Nintendo. However, the Japanese video games giant has always sought to innovate within the industry, a trend that they’ll look to continue with the upcoming release of the NX.

[Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images]