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Disorientator
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:03 PM)
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As you guys will probably remember, there were rumors/reports that Nintendo would use Sharp's free-form display technology in some way, for one of their future projects.

Well today a patent application surfaced that demonstrates just that, for a handheld device (that looks like a controller), which features an elliptical touch-screen that covers the device's whole top surface area.

Like in the past, Nintendo's name is nowhere to be found in the application (e.g assignee or applicant), however it's clear it's by them as all (5) engineers/inventors listed are Nintendo employees.

DISCLAIMER
As always with patents, the specific design/setup won't necessarily make it to a -potential- final product so don't get caught-up with details such as shape/form of shown device and/or physical button number/placement - the whole point of this seems to be the free-form display.


Title: Game Apparatus and Information Processing Apparatus
Publication Date: 12/10/2015
Filing Date: 06/09/2015

Abstract

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 from 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.


FIG 1

With reference to FIG. 1, a non-limiting example information processing apparatus 10 includes a housing 12, and a display panel 14 constitutes one main surface (front surface) of the housing 12. As the display panel 14, an LCD, EL, etc. can be used, for example. Furthermore, as the display panel 14, it is possible to use a display panel allowing stereoscopic view with naked eyes. In such a case, an LCD of a parallax barrier system or an LCD of a lenticular system using a sheet with unevenness (lenticular lens) is used, for example.

Furthermore, since the display panel 14 is made into an oblong form as mentioned above, it is possible to make an aspect ratio thereof comparable to a ratio (16:9) of a wide screen.

Although not shown in FIG. 1(A) and FIG. 1(B), a touch panel 16 is provided on the front surface of the display panel 14, and the touch panel 16 is set the same form (size) as the display panel 14 in this embodiment. That is, the touch panel 16 is also an oblong form, and an elliptical form that a part of a long side of a lower end is made into a form of a straight line. Therefore, it is possible to perform a touch input in almost a whole of a display area of the display panel 14. However, the touch panel 16 may be an elliptical form as similar to the form of the front surface of the first portion 12a. Furthermore, as the touch panel 16, a touch panel of an electrostatic capacitance system or a resistance film system can be used.

Furthermore, the information processing apparatus 10 comprises a first operation stick 18a, a second operation stick 18b, a first operation button 20a and a second operation button 20b. The first operation stick 18a is provided in a position operable by the thumb of the left hand when the player holds the information processing apparatus 10 with one hand or both hands, and similarly, the second operation stick 18b is provided in a position operable by the thumb of the right hand. Furthermore, the first operation button 20a is provided in a position operable by the index finger of the left hand when the player holds the information processing apparatus 10 with both hands, and similarly, the second operation button 20b is provided in a position operable by the index finger of the right hand. In this embodiment, the first operation button 20a and the second operation button 20b are provided on a side surface of the first portion 12a. More specifically, the first operation button 20a is provided in a left end portion of an upper surface of the housing 12, and the second operation button 20b is provided in a right end portion of the upper surface of the housing 12.

Furthermore, a card slot 40 is provided in a center portion of the upper surface of the housing 12. The card slot 40 can be attached with various kinds of card storage media such as a game cartridge, an SD card, a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, etc. Therefore, the information processing apparatus 10 reads (acquires) a program and data from the card storage medium that is attached to the card slot 40, or writes a program and data into a card storage medium. It should be noted that the program is a program for an application such as a game, and the data is data used for processing of the application. Furthermore, in some cases, a personal authentication may be performed.

In addition, although omitted in FIG. 1(A) and FIG. 1(B), the information processing apparatus 10 comprises a speaker 64 (see FIG. 19), and the speaker 64 is provided inside the housing 12, for example. However, a hole for outputting a sound from the speaker 64 to outside the housing 12 is provided in a portion other than the display area of the display panel 14, i.e., a side surface or the rear surface of the housing 12.



FIG. 9

FIG. 9(A) and FIG. 9(B) show an example of a case where a virtual game space (game screen 100) is displayed on the display panel 14 of the information processing apparatus 10 and the player plays a game. The game screen 100 is an image that the virtual game space in which a predetermined object is provided is imaged by a virtual camera. Specifically, a predetermined character or predetermined object such as a background, a person etc. is provided (rendered) in a three-dimensional space such as the virtual game space, and a two-dimensional image that is viewed from the virtual camera (viewpoint) is generated. That is, an image of the three-dimensional space viewed from the viewpoint is projected on a two-dimensional virtual screen by viewpoint conversion processing such as perspective projection transformation, and a projected two-dimensional image is displayed as the game screen 100.



FIG. 10

FIG. 10 shows a further example of the game screen 100. In the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 10, a button image 110 is displayed near the second operation stick 18b. If the button image 110 is touched, for example, according to this, an instruction that is set to the button image 110 is input. Therefore, by assigning to the button image 110 an instruction different from an instruction that is input when depressing the second operation stick 18b, it is possible to input more variegated instructions. Furthermore, if the button image 110 is displayed supplementally (or additionally or supportively) to the second operation stick 18b in a range near the second operation stick 18b and the thumb on the right hand of the player reaches, it is possible to use the second operation stick 18b and the button image 110 as such a push button of the common game controller.

In addition, a position that displays the button image 110 may be set arbitrarily by the player. For example, if the button image 110 is displayed in a range near the first operation stick 18a and the left thumb reaches, it is also possible to make it button arrangement that is easy to operate for the player of a left-handed player who operates a push button with the left thumb. Furthermore, the button image 110 may be displayed outside the first operation stick 18a or the second operation stick 18b, whereby the center part of the game screen 100 can be made conspicuous.

Furthermore, the button image 110 should just be displayed at a proper timing such as a case of being required for operation of a game, and does not need to be displayed always.



FIG. 11

FIG. 11(A) and FIG. 11(B) show a further example of the game screen 100. An enemy character 106 is displayed in a screen center of the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(A), and the player character 102 turns to the enemy character 106. Furthermore, near each of the first operation stick 18a and the second operation stick 18b, a plurality of item images 120 are displayed. Although illustration is omitted, a background image is also displayed in the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(A) (FIG. 11(B) is the same).

On the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(A), by touching the item image 120, an item can be used. Since the item image 120 is thus displayed near the first operation stick 18a and the second operation stick 18b, it is possible to use an item by selecting a desired item by a touch input and depressing the first operation stick 18a or the second operation stick 18b near the item, for example. This is an example and should not be limited. When instructing the use of an item, the first operation stick 18a or the second operation stick 18b should just be pushed.

In addition, the item image 120 is displayed about the item that the player character 102 owns. Furthermore, the item image 120 should just be displayed according to a predetermined timing (event) such as a case where there is a displaying instruction by the player or a case of battling against the enemy character 106, and does not need to be displayed always.

In the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(A), for example, if the item image 120 that an image of a gun is drawn is selected (touched), it is determined that the player character 102 uses a gun object 108. Then, the game screen 100 as shown in FIG. 11(B) becomes to be displayed on the display panel 14. The game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(B) is drawn with a first-person viewpoint of the player character 102, and a part of hand of the player character 102 is displayed. Furthermore, since having determined the use of the gun object 108 as mentioned above, the gun object 108 is grasped by the hand of the player character 102. A point that the enemy character 106 is displayed in the screen center is the same as the game screen 100 of FIG. 11(A). Furthermore, since the item to be used is selected, the item image 120 is non-displayed in the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 11(B).

As shown also in FIG. 11(B), the part of the hand of the player character 102 and the gun object 108 are displayed near the second operation stick 18b. For example, an operation that makes the gun object 108 move or shoot a bullet is performed by the second operation stick 18b. Therefore, since the gun object 108 is displayed near the thumb of the player, a feeling that the player is directly operating the gun object 108 is obtained.

That is, since the game screen 100 drawn from the first-person viewpoint is displayed on the display panel 14 having a form similar to a form of the visual filed of the human being, the player can obtain a feeling of immersion into the virtual game space. Furthermore, since the gun object 108 is displayed near the thumb of the player, it is thought that a higher feeling of immersion can be obtained.



FIGS. 12 & 13

FIG. 12 shows a further example of the game screen 100. In the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 12, an enemy character 106 is displayed in the screen center and a background image 104 in a manner that a spark is scattered in part and is full of smoke is displayed. Furthermore, an object (flame object) 130 that imitates flames is displayed around the first operation stick 18a and the second operation stick 18b. For example, it is shown a situation that by operating at least one of the first operation stick 18a and the second operation stick 18b by the player, the player character is caused to emit the flame to attack the enemy character 106 with the spark and smoke generated by the flame. Thus, by displaying an image effect corresponding to a physical operation of the player around the operation stick (18a, 18b), it is possible to display the game screen 100 with ambience. Therefore, it is possible to more raise a feeling of immersion.

FIG. 13 shows a further example of the game screen 100. In the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 13, a player character 102 and a background image 104 are displayed as shown in FIG. 9(A) and FIG. 9(B). Furthermore, in the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 13, an index image 140 indicative of a help mode is displayed in an upper end portion in the screen center and a character string of “help mode” is displayed below the same. Furthermore, a guide image 142 is displayed near the first operation stick 18a. Here, the guide image 142 is displayed in the game screen 100 in contact with the first operation stick 18a or its key top in appearance. Similarly, a guide image 144 is displayed near the second operation stick 18b. Similarly, a moving image 146 is displayed near the first operation button 20a. The guide images 142, 144 and 146 are images for explaining an operation content (the content of instructions) of corresponding touch panel 16, operation stick (18a, 18b) and operation button (20a, 20b). In addition, the guide images 142 and 144 explain not only the operation content but an operation method. Therefore, it can be understood that if tilting the first operation stick 18a in a direction that the guide image 142 is extended, it is possible to move the player character 102 in the virtual space in the direction that the guide image 142 is extended in the screen, for example. It can be understood that if depressing the second operation stick 18b, it is possible to make the player character 102 jump. Then, it can be understood that if pushing the first operation button 20a, it is possible to make the player character 102 squat.



FIGS. 14 & 15

FIG. 14 shows a further example of the game screen 100. In the game screen 100 shown in FIG. 14, a player character 102 in a manner of throwing an object (ball object) 110 that imitates a ball is displayed. Furthermore, near the first operation stick 18a, an arrow mark (guide image) 150 that points a predetermined direction (here, left slant upper) is displayed, and a guide image 152 that is for indicating that the first operation stick 18a is tilted in a direction that the arrow mark points and imitates the key top portion 1800 of the first operation stick 18a is displayed while being blinked, for example. In FIG. 14, a dotted line shows that the guide image 152 is blinking. However, it is not necessary to make blink. Furthermore, near the guide image 150, a character string of “tilt” is displayed. Furthermore, the guide image 154 that shows that the second operation stick 18b is to be pushed is displayed around the second operation stick 18b, and a character string of “push” is displayed near this guide image 154.

FIG. 15 shows an example of a character input screen 200. A display area 202 that displays an input character in the screen center is formed in the character input screen 200 shown in FIG. 15. Guide images 204 for inputting a consonant (Japanese “a”-“wa” columns) are displayed around the first operation stick 18a. Furthermore, guide images 206 for inputting a vowel (rows of syllables on the Japanese syllabary table that ends with the vowel sound “a”-“o”) and punctuation are displayed around the second operation stick 18b.



FIG. 19

FIG. 19 is a block diagram showing non-limiting example electric structure of the information processing apparatus.

Last edited by Disorientator; 12-10-2015 at 07:17 PM.
duckielein
Banned
(12-10-2015, 06:06 PM)
Now this is interesting. Fits perfectly in with all the other rumours (free-form display, second screen again, and so on). Can't wait to see what Ninty has next in store!

Edit: WAIT, Mario has been replaced with caillou? Damn..
Last edited by duckielein; 12-10-2015 at 06:11 PM.
NotLiquid
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:06 PM)
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Well this is taking a turn towards the interesting.
stilgar
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(12-10-2015, 06:06 PM)
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That's it. The real deal.


For once, we were right!
Nanashrew
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(12-10-2015, 06:07 PM)
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Been waiting to hear something on this since last year when we heard rumors of Nintendo looking into free form displays from Sharp last year http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/16/7...-form-displays
MrV4ltor
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(12-10-2015, 06:07 PM)
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Didn't someone make a mock up gif of a Wii U controller similar to this? Would definitely be a neat idea, but this patent version lacks buttons.
Terbinator
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(12-10-2015, 06:07 PM)
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Seems expensive if you want/need a second controller.
Rezae
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(12-10-2015, 06:07 PM)
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Wow. That's definitely "something".
KingSnake
The Birthday Skeleton
(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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So this is where the free form screen went. Very interesting.
King_Moc
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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This would need some amazing haptic feedback to even be remotely useable. Touch screen buttons are barely even a pale imitation of traditional ones.
GDGF
Soothsayer
(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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Oh hell yeah!

I suggested exactly that back when the free form display news got out months ago.

A few others did as well.

Gonna be rad if this releases. It's exactly what I had in mind when I suggested a Gamepad like device would stick around.

Soothsayer! lol
Last edited by GDGF; 12-10-2015 at 06:12 PM.
Sammy Samusu
I should post less pop-gaf speak spam. It's bad for my health.
(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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HONESTLY, I can't wait for their next gimmick, it keeps gaming fresh and interesting.

I just hope they make good use of it.
daxgame
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(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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looks interesting, but I dislike touch screen buttons...
Weebos
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(12-10-2015, 06:08 PM)
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Interesting, but that also means there are no "real" buttons?
zakujanai
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:09 PM)
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Looks terrible but so did the Wii U and I still ended up with one of those.
JoeM86
(12-10-2015, 06:09 PM)
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Yuck. I'm not a fan of thumbs covering any part of a screen.
MrV4ltor
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(12-10-2015, 06:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by Terbinator

Seems expensive if you want/need a second controller.

This seems more like a handheld than controller to me tbh.
Finale Fireworker
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(12-10-2015, 06:09 PM)
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My concern is that your hands, by design, obscure part of the screen. That breaks the appeal of the tech for me.

I guess I would need to see it in action. But, on paper, it looks and sounds terrible.
Nibel
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(12-10-2015, 06:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by JoeM86

Yuck. I'm not a fan of thumbs covering any part of a screen.

Same, but I'll await the final design
10k
Beware statements I make about the NX
(12-10-2015, 06:10 PM)
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SG-17
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(12-10-2015, 06:10 PM)
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No, please God no. Not touchscreen buttons.
Nanashrew
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(12-10-2015, 06:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by JoeM86

Yuck. I'm not a fan of thumbs covering any part of a screen.

I'm in the same boat. Thumbs just obstructs too much screen space on the sides of the screen and makes things rather annoying.
SephCast
Brotherhood of Shipley's
(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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So what if the console is in the controller, and to take it portable you just attach a second screen to it?
Drkirby
Corporate Apologist
(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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So its a touch screen with two built in analog sticks that jet out of the display area. Wonder if such a patent could hold up in court, I don't see anything in here that isn't obvious about the concept, outside of the production method of the device that are likely covered by different patents.
MrV4ltor
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(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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Found the gif. I'd be down for something like this (more buttons and bigger screen)

jbug617
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(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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No physical buttons?
JoeM86
(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by Nibel

Same, but I'll await the final design

Yeah.

Considering the below was once a prototyped controller, I'm sure whatever we get will have been thought about. Hell, it's Nintendo.

maxcriden
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(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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That is, since the game screen 100 drawn from the first-person viewpoint is displayed on the display panel 14 having a form similar to a form of the visual filed of the human being, the player can obtain a feeling of immersion into the virtual game space. Furthermore, since the gun object 108 is displayed near the thumb of the player, it is thought that a higher feeling of immersion can be obtained.

That bit jumped out at me. Almost like a pseudo replacement for 3D.

Like y'all, it's hard for me to picture how it would be ideal to have my thumbs obscuring the screen. But I'm hopeful it can be awesome in practice.
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(12-10-2015, 06:11 PM)
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A controller with an autostereoscopic touch-sensitive front surface? Yes, please!
Tempy
don't ask me for codes
(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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There are physical sticks/buttons guys.
Adam_Roman
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(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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Well that's definitely better than what people were talking about with the free form displays before.
SummitAve
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
So a better game pad that can act as a way more viable mobile controller or as an off screen display for console games.
TimmiT
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(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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Definitely an interesting concept, not a fan of touch screen controls though. Pressing buttons just feels a whole lot better than touching fake buttons on a touch screen.
omgkitty
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(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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I HATE touchscreen buttons. I refuse to even play an iPhone game that has them. Really hope this isn't what they actually go with.
nckillthegrimace
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(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by Weebos

Interesting, but that also means there are no "real" buttons?

No, it doesn't.
Weetrick
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(12-10-2015, 06:12 PM)
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Interesting. I hate on-screen controls in mobile games, but I typically love Nintendo hardware.
Sora the Cat
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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Wait, the sticks are built within the screen right? Or am I getting the image wrong?
OrbitalBeard
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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I NEED buttons. Otherwise, I love the idea.
Finale Fireworker
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by Tempy

There are physical sticks/buttons guys.

Nobody is thinking otherwise, are they?

Edit: I guess they are.
maxcriden
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by jbug617

No physical buttons?

Oh. That is really odd to me. I misunderstood the pic and thought that was a physical button, but It's a touch button. Man. If they omit buttons...I hope the screen has a good simulative feeling of pressing a button. I'm wary but hopeful about that....
Obliterator
cousin investments
(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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That thing looks pretty freaking crazy.

Could be awesome
morikaze
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by 10k

Beat me to it!

it is possible to use a display panel allowing stereoscopic view with naked eyes

This part makes me happy. I like stereoscopic 3D and feel like it would be a shame if Nintendo cut it out without letting us try it with a better quality screen with higher resolution and higher dpi and hopefully no jaggies .
Last edited by morikaze; 12-10-2015 at 06:17 PM.
valkillmore
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(12-10-2015, 06:13 PM)
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Damn that looks really cool
DoctorFling
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(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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This is bizarre, not sure I'm on board with it but I find these things hard to visualise.
Jessie.Bristol
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(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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Seems interesting, I await E3 to see exactly what the NX is.
maxcriden
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(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by Tempy

There are physical sticks/buttons guys.

Originally Posted by Finale Fireworker

Nobody is thinking otherwise, are they?

Edit: I guess they are.

I am. Where are the physical buttons? All I saw was 110 which is a digital button...
UnemployedVillain
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(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by daxgame

looks interesting, but I dislike touch screen buttons...

Originally Posted by Weebos

Interesting, but that also means there are no "real" buttons?

Originally Posted by TimmiT

Definitely an interesting concept, not a fan of touch screen controls though. Pressing buttons just feels a whole lot better than touching fake buttons on a touch screen.

Actually it looks like real buttons. Think about it, with a free form display you could still have the buttons in the same place, but the action could actually appear underneath where a button or stick would be. Check this picture and not it says "tilt" which makes no sense as a touch action



Originally Posted by SeanR1221

Unless buttons can attach to the screen and then it can either be a big touch screen, or more restricted area with physical buttons.

Then their phone and tablet games would easily be cross compatible with the handheld, with cloud saving.

I think you guys are missing what a free form screen means. They can make the screen around the button/stick housings. Unless I'm completely misunderstanding this
SeanR1221
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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Unless buttons can attach to the screen and then it can either be a big touch screen, or more restricted area with physical buttons.

Then their phone and tablet games would easily be cross compatible with the handheld, with cloud saving.
outunderthestars
He's not our sharpest knife.
(12-10-2015, 06:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by MrV4ltor

Found the gif. I'd be down for something like this (more buttons and bigger screen)

I'd love to see something really weird like that.
KingBroly
Member
(12-10-2015, 06:15 PM)
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I dunno man...like...just...

I can't see myself liking this.


EDIT: ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? BOTTOM OF THE PAGE AGAIN! I am the Page Bottom Master!
Last edited by KingBroly; 12-10-2015 at 06:18 PM.

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