A Reddit user leaked photographs earlier today purporting to be the Nintendo NX Controller. The photos set off a new wave of speculation about the gaming console, which seems set to be Nintendo’s next big gaming move.
To recap what we know about Nintendo NX, back in December of 2015, Nintendo filed for a patent on a “game apparatus” that had some unusual properties. There was an elliptical display showing an oval-shaped game image. The gaming system also included two analog joysticks that were oddly sticking up from the display. The patent describes a setup which would be revolutionary. The two joysticks could apparently be pressed down, and then two other buttons on top of the screen, which would be depressed by the index fingers. The patent also describes a touch screen and other features that may be less important and will never find their way into the platform, but at a minimum, the “game apparatus” seems most like a controller.
Now a Reddit user has posted photographs to Reddit that seem to show a controller very similar to the one described by the patent. The redditor, called perkele37, posted pics of a prototype controller that has a “confidential property” sticker on it. The clear photographs show a screen with two buttons on it, very much like the pictures that accompanied the patent filing last December. The photos certainly appear similar, although more legitimate, than the ones that made the rounds a few days ago. These pictures seem to show the same device, but with a game or graphic interface likely photoshopped on top.
Meanwhile redditor perkele37 add the following tidbits to their post:
- Only the upper ‘nubs’ of the sticks move. The bottom part is static (kind of like the circle pad, but it moves along the bottom ‘sphere’.
- The rollers on the top feel and look pretty much identical to a mouse scroll-wheel. Though I do don’t believe this will be the final design.
- Haptic feedback is feels like Apples ‘taptic’ engine. Not like regular rumble.
- 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom
Earlier this week Nintendo declined to respond to reports it planned to retire the Wii U. Rumor has it that Nintendo will mothball the gaming system after they try to sell the stockpiled of Wii U consoles, which could put its eventual end sometime in mid-2017. Although the Wii U is a disappointment for Nintendo, part of the impetus for moving on is the NX, which it insists will premiere sometime in 2016. The NX is still shrouded in mystery. Nintendo also filed for a patent on a console that would not use discs. There are still rumors it will be Android-based, and that there will be some incorporation of virtual reality technology into the gaming platform.
The patent filings and picture of the controller do suggest that, as rumored, the NX is a hybrid device that can serve as a home console but also be portable. Gamers are now going bezerk, with many obsessing over details that make it seem real. Still others believe it bears the mark of a completely fabricated controller. Since patents are often filed very early in the process, some veteran analysts believe that the controller would have undergone more changes in the period since the patent was filed. We probably will not know more until the NX debuts in Los Angeles at the E3 conference in June.