Nintendo Flirted With 3D, HD Displays For Wii U Controller

This holiday, the Wii U, Nintendo's upcoming game consoles goes on sale. The Kyoto-based gamer maker revealed the machine last summer and continues to provide new details about the consoles; however, there is still so much that's unknown.

Nintendo's Wii U patent fillings recently surfaced, providing a look at what the company was planning. The documents are from Sept. 2011, and they do clearly point out "statements herein do not correspond to any particular actual product that may be eventually be made available to consumers." That means what Nintendo filed might not make its way into the final product.

The Wii U features a new controller that sports a built-in touch screen that can run games off the Wii U console. It also features a built-in mic, which was previously announced. According to the patent filling, the Wii U could be outfitted with voice recognition software and players could give voice commands in-game. Nintendo also states that "one or more additional microphones...may be provided on the front and/or back surfaces" of the controller.

The patent filings also mention facial recognition -- a feature that Nintendo hinted at last summer. The tech could, according to the documents, enable the Wii U controller, which is outfitted with a camera, to recognise a face -- specifically parts of a person's face. This data would then be stored in the Wii U's main memory.

Other details, such as the ability to browse the internet and parental-type controls, are obvious -- and already featured on the Nintendo Wii. However, the documents also state that the Wii U cannot only communicate with external devices via network, it could be used as a videophone "exchanging images and sound".

The patent filing does not specifically mention Skype (and this is merely an example), but it sure sounds like Nintendo was thinking of implementing it. Whether or not it makes its way into the final product remains to be seen -- or maybe Nintendo's Wii U network will feature a video chat service of its own.

The Wii U is bound to have its fair share of peripherals -- just look at how many the Wii has. In the patent filing, Nintendo gives two specific examples of what could be attached to the new controller: "a game-specific controller (gun-shaped controller, etc.) or an input device such as a keyboard".

One of the more interesting nuggets involves 3D and HD. The former might not have caught on like Nintendo, or other electronics companies, had hoped. The 3DS is making innovative use of 3D, but it's still not mainstream. In the patent filing, Nintendo noted that the Wii U "might" feature a 3D display. It also mentions it "might" feature a HD display on the Wii U controller, which so far has sported a sub-HD resolution of around 850x.

Unless Nintendo makes a surprise reveal before the launch, these looks to be featuers that ended up on the cutting room floor.

The full documents can be viewed in the links below.

Game System, Controller Device, and Game Method [US Patent & Trademark Office]

SPATIALLY-CORRELATED MULTI-DISPLAY HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE [US Patent & Trademark Office Thanks, Igor!]


Comments

    Considering what the controller is used for im quite fine for Non HD if it keeps the price down. Ill be primarily doing all my gaming on the big screen, and if I have to resort to the small one, well.. its a price you pay :)

    Surely a screen that size could be done in HD and still be cheap; it's 2012, not 2002.

    So the screen isn't in HD, and it isn't multitouch either....

    Why should I even be remotely interested in this console? (and I'm a console freak, I have them all, even a 3DS and I'm ordering a Vita).

    The thing launches at Christmas and we haven't seen a single title except for some games that are already out on other consoles.

    I think it would be VERY smart of Nintendo to include HD in the controller screen. 3D sounds like it won't happen allthough I'm for the idea as long as we can turn in on or off with a slider like the 3DS. That and have the inward facing camera detect your eye movements so that the sweet spot won't be an issue.

    Maybe things are different now, but Nintendo did mention that 3D and touch screen does not work well together. So unless they figured something out, then 3D won't happen.

    Nintendo does not want to sell the wii U controller at a loss, and 3D is MAD expensive. I do believe that HD is VERY likely. Nintendo probably has awesome stuff about the Wii U controller up their sleeves that were not aware of yet.

    I'm personally looking forward to Nintendo's next generation console.

    this will fail like the wii.

    it will not even match the current gen xbox or playstation. tbh id have a ps2 over this probably.

    i used to love nintendo when they had n64, snes etc.

    Everything after the gamecube was not interesting enough i believe.

    gameboys ruled, DS didnt cut it.

    but i still own these all, as im also a console collector lol

      Fail like the Wii? I'm sure Nintendo would be happy if the Wii U did half as well as the Wii.

        From everything I've read, Wii U will surpass all current consoles in processing power and graphical capabilities. Saying you would take a PS2 over Wii U shows just how much you don't understand it. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

      You should spend less time collecting consoles and more time checking your facts.
      The wiiU will be more powerful then the current Xbox and Playstation however what the wii has shown this generation is that douse not matter see the link bellow.
      http://www.vgchartz.com/

      The wii is almost the most successful console in history, you sir are the fail.

    If they are having bandwidth issues getting even the current WiiU design to support more than one controller then I'm not surprised they went the sub-HD route.

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