News Article

Nintendo Applies for Patent on Wii U Golf Tech

Posted by James Newton

Taking a swing

Remember Nintendo's bold new vision for sports games on Wii U, shown off at E3 last year? It's dead serious about making it a reality, applying for a patent on its concept for golf.

The patent pertains to using the new controller on the ground to see the lie of the ball, but it goes into more detail, revealing it's possible to 'miss' the ball entirely if your aim is off. If you succeed in striking the ball, the speed of your swing and angle of the club face are used to calculate the ball's trajectory. You know, like in normal Wii golf games.

Referring to existing golf set ups, the application says:

There is room for improvement in terms of providing a realistic game that feels as if the player was playing actual golf.

If Nintendo is granted this patent it could force other developers to adopt different uses for the second screen, but we can't think of many better ideas than a view of a golf ball. Can you?

[via freepatentsonline.com]

More Stories

User Comments (39)

rjejr

#1

rjejr said:

So N had the E3 golf demo video BEFORE they applied for the patent? Can their own 'prior art' be held against them?

So how does this work? Is the front facing Upad camera reading the Wiimote or is the Wiimote reading something on the Upad?

BenAV

#2

BenAV said:

Could be fun, but I doubt I'd play it for long, as I like to play sitting down. :P

Chris720

#6

Chris720 said:

Where else are you going to use this in a sport? To be honest I'd be scared to put it on the floor in case it gets broken... this was a stupid idea to begin with... why would you need to see where the ball is sitting?

MAB

#11

MAB said:

Just don't hit the ball into the water because you will have to take a drop ;)
I'm hoping for some sort of ninja star flickage action to become reality :)

SkywardLink98

#12

SkywardLink98 said:

I wonder if we'll get U Sports with every Wii U. They could make the tech demos available as games, like you get a copy of U Sports and can download Shield Pose, Chase Mii, and Battle Mii as downloadable games to get owners to connect to the internet, kinda like what the PS Vita did.

steamhare

#16

steamhare said:

A sensor strip on the UPad? I bet adding two tiny infrared lights to the front is cheap enough to be cost effective. This definitely sounds cool, though. If only I liked golf.

warioswoods

#17

warioswoods said:

Seriously, this could be the greatest golf sim of all time.

Using that sensor on the floor would mean very accurate measurement of the precise angle and movement of your virtual club as you swing past the ball; other implementations (on Motion Plus by itself, and Kinect and Move) cannot read that detail at the exact point where your club passes the ball, so they have to just guess based on overall swing path. Also, you could actually see your club head as you set up your shot and adjust the angle of the face of the club appropriately. Good stuff.

Wheels2050

#18

Wheels2050 said:

I can imagine someone using one of those plastic golf club extensions, accidentally whacking the Wii U tablet and have it fly across the room and break.

It's inevitable!

3dbrains

#19

3dbrains said:

The WiiU has a Wii Sensor Bar built directly into the WiiU controller. It forms part of the sensor strip at the top of the controller and surrounds the camera.(big black strip)

The wiimote pointing down at the wiiU controller see's the IR sensor and as you swing your arms, the wii remote tracks the position of the IR on the controller and then as the swing progresses, the wiimote tracks the TV mounted IR sensor bar... calculations on these two pieces of info are added to wiimote accelerometer and gyro info and combined to a more realistic golf swing and also... the moment the wiimote senses the second IR bar, the controller visually shows the ball as being hit.

Very clever.

Rawk_Hawk

#20

Rawk_Hawk said:

Judging from Wii Sports and Resort, Nintendo does a great job at golf games and I'm sure this will be no different.

Onett

#21

Onett said:

@Wheels2050

Those are always fun to read or see aftermath photos of. Though I am confident the controller will be sturdy and capable of taking a beating. :)

HiroshiYamauchi

#24

HiroshiYamauchi said:

I can see a lot of people stepping on the Wii U controller while playing a game like this, there will be a lot of Youtube videos, just like with the Wii Remote destroying TV sets.

WiiLovePeace

#26

WiiLovePeace said:

Man this controller scheme would be awesome for the next Mario Golf installment, if there ever is one.

duffmman

#29

duffmman said:

I was just thinking how the WiiU controller could be used to bring that old Wii light patent to life for games that don't utilize the screen such as rock band. They could have it where you place the controller on top of your TV, and if the room is dark, the screen will light up colors brightly in reference to what color buttons you press on your instrument controller, or other such instances of the like.

Katernity

#30

Katernity said:

my cats would never let me play like that. they would have to lay on that thing as soon as i put it on the floor.

Torchwood

#31

Torchwood said:

It looks kind of cool but I can just see myself stepping on the controller when I swing.

Burning_Spear

#32

Burning_Spear said:

@Uncle_Optimus: I've been saying all along that he'll be back as one of the top few in the game, but I'm becoming more doubtful every day. He has so many issues: health, confidence, mechanics.

ajcismo

#33

ajcismo said:

Count me in. The more "virtual" golf gets, the more golf games I'm going to buy.
I could see where the tablet becomes both the lie of the ball and a caddy of sorts between shots. When it lies flat on the floor its the ground and then pick it up and it automatically switches to a HUD view of the course in all directions. Then tap your way around to select your club, etc...

lanabanana

#34

lanabanana said:

That's pretty cool, but i'm more of a clumsy person, so chances are high that i'll probably step on it... XD

Nintenbro

#35

Nintenbro said:

@Katernity, that's hilarious to me, because my cats are the same way. They always have to be right under your feet, because it's not like they don't already receive enough attention. :D

Uncle_Optimus

#37

Uncle_Optimus said:

@Burning_Spear Then there is that voodoo doll his ex keeps stabbing...on topic: I think Nintendo pushing these dual controller schemes in a lot of their demos and now this patent hints strongly at a pack-in wiiMote+

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...