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Nintendo Patent Filing Makes Wii Remote a Touchpad

by Joey Davidson | November 4, 2011November 4, 2011 5:30 pm PDT

Siliconera has uncovered another video game related patent. Yesterday, we reported on Sony’s filing for biometric readers on their system’s various controllers. This time, Nintendo’s the one doing the filing on this new method of information input.

In Siliconera’s story, the writer links the potential addition of the touchpad accessory to the upcoming Wii U. One of the Wii U’s new features is the large, touchscreen controller/tablet hybrid used for gaming. Only one player per system can use the device, while the rest of the party has to use Wii Remotes. As Siliconera indicates, this touchpad may stand as a solution to the multiple methods of input pending for the Wii U.

The way it works is rather unique. The device attaches to the Wii Remote, as shown in the image above, and light moves from the pad to the IR sensor in the head of the controller. When players touch the screen on the accessory, their fingers interrupt the flow of light. That data then gets interpreted by the Wii for play.

Given that this device reads light interruption instead of physical touch, we immediately find ourselves wondering how accurate the control will be. If done well, we imagine it could potential rival the trackpad on, for instance, a laptop computer.

Patent entries don’t always equate to final products, so don’t expect this device to definitely show up in one of Nintendo’s upcoming press releases. Their Japanese research and development arm is simply flirting with the design and making sure they own the rights to the technology.

What do you think of this odd, potentially upcoming accessory. Do you see yourselves wielding a controller in one hand and touching the pad with the other? Or is this something that you feel Nintendo is better off simply leaving on the drawing board?

[via Siliconera]

Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...