Nintendo files yet another patent for a handheld gaming device with a touchscreen, prompting speculation that it is to be the controller for the upcoming Nintendo NX.

When Nintendo announced that Nintendo NX wouldn’t be at E3, it had many fans scratching their heads. After all, the device is supposedly going to launch worldwide next March, yet Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about it, with little to no concrete NX info released to the public so far. However, a patent filed by Nintendo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on June 30th may offer clues as to what NX has in store.

The patent is for a handheld gaming device with a vibration system, built-in speakers, and a touchscreen. Unlike another recent Nintendo patent, this device is a rectangle instead of an oval, and has traditional face buttons, a d-pad, and a circle pad. The inclusion of a circle pad may seem to point to it being a 3DS redesign, but that seems unlikely as the device depicted in the patent only has one screen.

Unless Nintendo is planning a rather drastic redesign of the 3DS, there are two logical conclusions as to what this device may be, assuming it is more than just a placeholder patent. For one, it could be a full fledged Nintendo 3DS successor, and is meant to launch the next-generation of handheld gaming for Nintendo. Secondly, and this seems to be the more likely scenario, the patent could be for the Nintendo NX controller.

Nintendo Patents Handheld Device; Could it Be for NX? - Possible Nintendo NX controller patent

Past rumors have indicated that Nintendo NX will be a home console/handheld hybrid, and this device seems like it would fit the bill. Furthermore, this device appears to be a reworked version of Nintendo’s earlier touchscreen handheld patent, and that could explain why the company still has yet to give the NX a proper unveiling. Perhaps Nintendo decided to go another route with the Nintendo NX controller late into the console’s development, and needed time to implement the changes seen in this latest patent.

Shigeru Miyamoto has claimed in the past that the reason why Nintendo NX has yet to be revealed is because the system has some sort of secret feature, and Nintendo doesn’t want its competitors to steal the idea. While that sounds reasonable enough, we won’t really know for sure until Nintendo reveals the device.

With less than a year to go until Nintendo NX is released to the masses, Nintendo will probably reveal the console within the next few months. It’s likely that the console’s controller will be revealed alongside the system itself, so we may find out soon whether or not this new Nintendo patent has anything to do with NX.

Nintendo NX will be available in March of 2017.

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

tags: 3DS, Nintendo, Wii U