Purported Photos of the Nintendo NX Console Look a Whole Lot Like This Patent
Images that purport to show at least one piece of Nintendo’s forthcoming “NX” game machine appeared on Reddit Wednesday morning, closely matching a game system design shown in a patent filed by Nintendo in December.
The patent described a quite unique vision of a game machine: An elliptical display showed an oval-shaped game image, with two analog joysticks protruding up through the display. In 2014, it was reported that Nintendo had teamed up with Sharp, its longtime game hardware partner, to use the company’s new “free-form” LCD display technology that could create screens in a variety of different shapes; the report suggested that Nintendo would create “a doughnut-shaped screen with a hole in the middle.”
The photos that appeared today closely match the physical description and illustrations from the patent, are of high quality and taken from different angles. If this is a fake, it’s an incredibly elaborate one. (But people have gone pretty far to fake things before, so we can’t say for sure.)
If this is the NX, it suggests another radical departure for Nintendo in the area of game controls. The patent describes a system with two physical joysticks, each of which can be pushed down for an additional button-press input, and two buttons to be pressed by the index fingers on top of the screen. Any other buttons, as shown in other patent images, would be “virtual buttons” that appear on the controller’s screen next to the joysticks.
The person who posted the photos on Reddit said in a comment that they show “the controller unit for the console.” Is this a game controller that must pair with a console? Or is this a portable, self-contained game machine that could pair with a more powerful console but also work on its own in a more limited capacity? Just seeing a piece of hardware like this, with no context or gameplay demonstrations, leaves us with far more questions than answers.
Nintendo has said repeatedly that it plans to unveil the NX this year. With the E3 Expo coming up in June, that’s likely where we’ll get all the details of whatever NX is, if Nintendo doesn’t spill the beans prior to the big show.
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