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Nintendo Patent Application - Handheld (or controller?) featuring a free-form display

- if you want to play a game in an even more immersive way, just detach the screen from the controller, and...here we go, here's the brand new Wiimote. Behind, there would still be the B trigger, and possibly another button as well. Since the patent mentions the possibility to click on the analogs to trigger actions, I suppose that could compensate the lack of the A button compared to the Mote. Thanks to the screen, what was the Wiimote's strength (the immediacy, the simplicity to just jump in the game and play) would be back, alongside the other possibilities of immersion and of wonder that a screen can offer when combined to motion controls. A remote that would allow more than "just" motion controls: maps, menus, touch buttons, even messages from friends while playing? There are many possibilities.
The Nunchuk wouldn't differ too much from its Wii version, including presenting another analog pad.
Basically you mean a modular desgin like we had/have with the Wii Remote:





And i just can't picture it or maybe you are not thinking thoroughly enough.

Yes, the patent itself hints at a modular design. But as it is in the patent, it will work mostly with the device in a wide screen format for the different operation modes. That doesn't mean that in certain cases it could be used in portrai mode, like for example in the Katamaru's Castle Nintendo Land mini game.

The reason for this is because a wand like device like the Wii Remote needs to be quite narrow to fit perfectly in the user's hand. Factor in this the need for an extra bezel, since you wouldn't want to hold something of an oblong shape when operating in Wiimote style.

Look at the Wii Remote picture to get an idea. If they accomodate the device the way you suggest for wand like operation then it loses potential screen functionality since a sacrifice in the height of the screen would be needed.

Edit: To add to the above with a real world example. How big is the screen you are picturing? 4 inches maybe. Well just imagine holding an smartphone with a screen of that size. Not really that great for Wiimote operation, insn't it?
 

pelicansurf

Needs a Holiday on Gallifrey
Then I got the perfect handheld for you:

There you go. No pesky fingers blocking the screen now.
You didn't change anything but remove screen real estate. The parts that your fingers are covering are non essential screen areas. Like emulators that show the game boy game in a game boy. Some do that to retain resolution, but that doesn't apply here.

Developers won't make it so important details happen on the "outsides". This is super sweet. The screen is alive!
 

Russ T

Banned
To be perfectly honest, I don't really see the point beyond the Cool Factor of it all. Which just seems like you'd be paying a premium for something that lacks a functional purpose.

Then again, people say the same thing about the 3D on the 3DS and I actually like that, so maybe I could be convinced once I had it in my hands.
 

watershed

Banned
Obviously if Nintendo goes this route the main screen area would be 16:9 and everything else would be "extra viewing" or maybe even have a dynamic frame like illumiroom or whatever that microsoft thing is.
 

The_Lump

Banned


Not a fan if your fingers are in the middle of the screen.

...they aren't. The screen has extended around your fingers. It's extra screen.

Great 'shop btw Tregard. This perfectly depicts what I was trying to explain earlier in the thread. The image is not hindered in any way; the focus is still within a 16:9(ish) oblong, but there is extra peripheral screen space to (potentially) add to the immersion.

If NX handheld looked anywhere near as sleek as this sort of thing, with some hand grips, they'd certainly add a 'wow' factor that was missing in WiiUs design.
 


This is my mock up.

Two physical sliders act as 2 analogue sticks, the buttons are virtual. But since they are in a fixed position relative to the sliders you don't have to look at the to know where they are all the time. There is haptic feedback to let you know that you pressed them ( kinda like the new macbook )
 

Nose Master

Member
I'll have to see the actual thing to really judge it... but this does not sound appealing in the least. I love that they can and do try new things. It's really too bad that most of them are complete turds.
 
To be perfectly honest, I don't really see the point beyond the Cool Factor of it all. Which just seems like you'd be paying a premium for something that lacks a functional purpose.

Then again, people say the same thing about the 3D on the 3DS and I actually like that, so maybe I could be convinced once I had it in my hands.

Its functional because you get a bigger screen in a the same form factor, or the same screen with a smaller form factor.

If the virtual buttons have haptic feedback, they can be very accesible, since you will not have a generic button X. You will have buttons tailored for the game.

In my mock up i have two analogue sliders, but it would be more accesible to have just one slider. The other slider would be replaced by a big button ( Think game cube )

You didn't change anything but remove screen real estate. The parts that your fingers are covering are non essential screen areas. Like emulators that show the game boy game in a game boy. Some do that to retain resolution, but that doesn't apply here.

Developers won't make it so important details happen on the "outsides". This is super sweet. The screen is alive!

If you hold a phone horizontally and put your thumbs on th imaginary sliders you would see that they will not cover that much of screen.
 
I always have recollections of a nice photo mockup/fake which was basically a gb micro but with the entire front surface as a screen, they'd used an Orito Mario picture for the display. It was a long time ago, don't suppose anyone knows what I'm talking about?
 

Cuburt

Member
You didn't change anything but remove screen real estate. The parts that your fingers are covering are non essential screen areas. Like emulators that show the game boy game in a game boy. Some do that to retain resolution, but that doesn't apply here.

Developers won't make it so important details happen on the "outsides". This is super sweet. The screen is alive!

That was my point.

I still think that it is a valid comparison since it's possible the developers made the directorial decision to make the character larger in the frame with their body being partially cut off by the frame and even zoom in while aiming with a weapon like a bow, such as in Tomb Raider 2013
As you can see, a free-form version of this screen would show more of Lara and the surrounding area like Tregard's edit.

I only made a 1:1 crop of the Vita screen for effect.

A more realistic example of what I'd imagine two versions of the same game might look like is more like this:
 
Do remember that this controller would be SECONDARY to the main display for it's seemingly primary use.

Then when you take it out on mobile, we would have the main screen displaying there.
 
The vita edit is very appealing. I imagine a handheld looking like that would be cool. You could likely make something like the gamepad but smaller as well.
Some concerns on the price still exist tho.


Not a fan if your fingers are in the middle of the screen.
Why would your fingers be in the middle? At most they'd be over the dpad/ face buttons
 
True, I suppose you are right.

I just don't see them making a gaming platform that isn't a TV-connected console, ya know?


Well they've implied that the platform will have multiple forms, so while it could be that each console is bundled with a handheld, that's far from guaranteed.
It may be that the console controller doesn't even have a screen on it, which would certainly make secondary controllers cheaper.
I guess they could offer a smartphone app as a crappy alternative to secondary controllers if they wanted, and try to encourage everyone to buy their own handheld out of jealousy.
 
Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread but is it really possible there would be no bezel on the outer edges? Technically speaking?
 
Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread but is it really possible there would be no bezel on the outer edges? Technically speaking?

there would be some sort of protective edge but yes Sharp's screen technology doesn't need a bezel, at least for most of it, I'm not sure about how it connects to a motherboard though. The patent says it would probably use a side mounted linear LED strip for a backlight too, which is why the bottom edge of the screen is straight. You can see the same thing going on in most of Sharp's prototypes where they have a single thick edge running along the top or bottom, the odd one out being a fully circular screen which has a bezel all around it.
 

Tadaima

Member
I think the unveiling for this could be quite fun if Nintendo were to reveal it as a handheld with traditional housing (perhaps a design that looks similar to a Game Boy Advance), then fade it out to demonstrate that the housing is actually part of the display. The audience would go wild.

Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread but is it really possible there would be no bezel on the outer edges? Technically speaking?

The outer bezel would likely be equal to that of the inner bezel (surrounding the mechanical buttons/sticks). "No bezel" is unlikely, but it will at least be extremely slim, possibly almost unnoticeable.
 
So could someone sum up all the rumours/proposed tech features for me? I'm gonna make a 3D concept over Christmas as a little hobby project.

What've we got so far?

  • Organic screen shape?
  • Touch screen?
  • Modular/moveable buttons?
  • Haptic feedback?
  • Console/Handheld controller hybrid?
  • Cloud power?
 
Übermatik;189110522 said:
So could someone sum up all the rumours/proposed tech features for me? I'm gonna make a 3D concept over Christmas as a little hobby project.

What've we got so far?

  • Organic screen shape?
  • Touch screen?
  • Modular/moveable buttons?
  • Haptic feedback?
  • Console/Handheld controller hybrid?
  • Cloud power?

Either scroll-wheel or capacitive touch enabled shoulder buttons.
I'd consider some room for a camera on the front too.
 
Either scroll-wheel or capacitive touch enabled shoulder buttons.
I'd consider some room for a camera on the front too.

Aw shit yeah the scroll wheel thing. Was there substantial evidence for touch sensitive shoulder buttons?

Also I was kinda looking for validation on my bullet points... is the modular buttons one something I dreamt?
 
Übermatik;189111626 said:
Aw shit yeah the scroll wheel thing. Was there substantial evidence for touch sensitive shoulder buttons?

Yes they sneaked in a mention in that patent, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up going for that instead of the wheels, much less internal space taken up.

I don't remember any modular control thing except for the prototype 3ds they showed off in an Iwata asks.
 

Snakeyes

Member
Übermatik;189110522 said:
So could someone sum up all the rumours/proposed tech features for me? I'm gonna make a 3D concept over Christmas as a little hobby project.

What've we got so far?

  • Organic screen shape?
  • Touch screen?
  • Modular/moveable buttons?
  • Haptic feedback?
  • Console/Handheld controller hybrid?
  • Cloud power?

- Multiple form factors (standalone handhelds and consoles).
- Scroll wheel shoulder buttons.
- Haptic feedback.
- "Supplemental Computing Device" that can boost the processing power of a NX device and can connect to a cloud of SCDs for distributed processing.
- Free-form display.
- Modular controls.
- Possibly a shared library between handhelds and consoles.

I think those were the main ones.
 
Anyone got a link to this modular controls thing?

Yeah, please. I swear I saw some patent application diagram that showed the screen having some kind of tillable/plug in-out property.

I may have started a rumour all on my own.

Anyway I'll get on designing a concept sometime this week... not sure how long it will take me. Maybe beginning of January.
 

Bulbasaur

Banned
This is definitely interesting. I guess there was no way they were going to ditch touch screens, but after the limited innovation we saw them actually use the interface for on Wii U I'm surprised they're giving it another shot.
 

Peru

Member
There's no disadvantage to this solution. The advantage is that it looks cooler, that it will be a design that stands out on shelves, that perhaps you get a feeling of the visuals streaming around your hands. So it's a design thing, it's a coolness factor.

The disadvantage? None. As long as the screen area between the two sticks is still widescreen, there is no disadvantage. That will be the main area, and 100% of developers will be told to not put vital information on the sides. THe sides will be a bonus, as if you had the regular screen and added to it for atmospheric reasons.

So it's a thing that ups the gadget factor but in no way affects gameplay. We don't know how many buttons are on it, but if Nintendo changes button layout it's not because this design forces it.
 

GrandiaX

Banned


This is my mock up.

Two sliders act as 2 analogue sticks, the buttons are virtual. But since they are in a fixed position relative to the sliders ou don't have to look at the to know where they are. I also imagine that there is haptic feedback to let you know that you pressed them ( kinda like the new macbook )

I'm not sure how to feel about that mock up. Smartphones already do this right now and its ****ing horrible.
 

Instro

Member
There's no disadvantage to this solution. The advantage is that it looks cooler, that it will be a design that stands out on shelves, that perhaps you get a feeling of the visuals streaming around your hands. So it's a design thing, it's a coolness factor.

The disadvantage? None. As long as the screen area between the two sticks is still widescreen, there is no disadvantage. That will be the main area, and 100% of developers will be told to not put vital information on the sides. THe sides will be a bonus, as if you had the regular screen and added to it for atmospheric reasons.

So it's a thing that ups the gadget factor but in no way affects gameplay. We don't know how many buttons are on it, but if Nintendo changes button layout it's not because this design forces it.

I don't know how you design a game that ignores FoV.
 


This is my mock up.

Two sliders act as 2 analogue sticks, the buttons are virtual. But since they are in a fixed position relative to the sliders ou don't have to look at the to know where they are. I also imagine that there is haptic feedback to let you know that you pressed them ( kinda like the new macbook )

This is the only mockup I've seen in here that actually captures what the patent is talking about. All the others just have the images going all the way to the edges with buttons and sticks placed like normal, when in actuality, the game would be tailored around where the physical inputs would be.

Ideally you'd want the inputs being treated similar to HUD elements as in covering non-essential parts of the screen
 

Dmax3901

Member
here's my mockup - still has physical d-pad and buttons, but they're clear with displays under them.


I mean it looks cool but I don't understand what the benefits are. Is it just the bigger screen? It seems not worth it when (as people have mentioned) your fingers will be obscuring what extra screenspace you get.
 

knkng

Member

That keyboard has a separate display in each button. That wouldn't really work with the example that was posted. There would be separation between the primary screen and the LED under each button, giving them a "border" with minimal internal display area. I don't really see them doing this, especially when you can just create virtual buttons (even though I'm not a fan of that).
 

watershed

Banned
here's my mockup - still has physical d-pad and buttons, but they're clear with displays under them.


I get that this looks cool but what's the point? Unless you are playing a game that only uses the analogs and shoulder buttons, your thumbs will be covering those areas anyways so who cares if they are transparent?
 
I get that this looks cool but what's the point? Unless you are playing a game that only uses the analogs and shoulder buttons, your thumbs will be covering those areas anyways so who cares if they are transparent?

lol exactly.. although watching cutscenes, i could see the benefit hmm
 

TLZ

Gold Member
I get that this looks cool but what's the point? Unless you are playing a game that only uses the analogs and shoulder buttons, your thumbs will be covering those areas anyways so who cares if they are transparent?

Well, the more screen area the better. I'd rather have that than plastic.
 
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