A Nintendo employee going by the name of Fumihiko Inoue has filed a patent for a clip-on controller peripheral that looks similar to the rumored NX remote.

As rumors swirl in regards to what Nintendo next platform (codenamed NX) will look like, a formal patent has been submitted by an employee of the firm regarding clip-on controllers. What makes this filing so peculiar is the fact that the design of this peripheral seems to line up perfectly with existing industry rumblings about the design of the remote for the mysterious NX platform.

Could this be the first glimpse of what the Big N has planned for its next piece of hardware? It’s certainly a possibility.

The filing of the patent itself was handled by Fumihiko Inoue, one of the inventors of the device and a core member of Nintendo’s Development Engineering Department. Technically, the patent was submitted back in January, but only just came to light recently in the wake of the documents being published. This is pretty standard for anything pertaining to the United States Patent Office, so their delayed confirmation isn’t so much shocking as it is to be expected.

Looking at the documents, it’s important to note that designs for the filings can change drastically in between the time the hardware was patented and when it releases – if ever. With that said, curious gamers can take a look at a pair of images from the filing below.

nintendo clip on controller patent nx nintendo clip on controller patent

These peripherals are said to avoid electronic signals in order to communicate inputs to the device, opting to pursue this action through infared signals. A petite camera within the attachment itself will read the intensity of each button press, which will then be relayed to the hardware via the aforementioned infared technology. This is comparable to the method of detecting inputs found in modern circuit-based controllers, which would make it an ideal peripheral for what appears to be a standard touch-screen device.

It’s important to note that, despite looking similar to rumored NX design, this may be for something else entirely. Since Nintendo has concrete plans to enter the mobile market in a big way in the near future, with releases for both Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing on mobile devices, this add-on could very well could be directed at smartphone users. Of course, this is just speculation on our end, but there’s little question that the hardware manufacturer has solid plans in place to cater to a wider audience on those platforms.

Source: United States Patent Office (via NeoGAF)

tags: Nintendo