It seems that as Nintendo gets closer to revealing the NX more clues surface, and a few freshly released patents - filed in January this year and now visible to the public - appear to reinforce aspects of notable recent reports on the system.

NeoGAF poster Disorientator has picked up on these releases by the US patent office, and the most exciting regards detachable controllers. In the Eurogamer reports linked above a key part of the detail was that a tablet-like device could have detachable controllers placed either side of the screen to increase control options. This fresh patent addresses that very directly.

Below you can see some key text and images - the interesting part of the idea is that the detachable aspects will have minimal circuitry, if any. The concept is that infrared from the core system will detect inputs; this could mean for cheaper accessories, though like the Circle Pad Pro on 3DS it wouldn't surprise us if some add-ons also had some of their own circuitry to complement infrared detection.

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An example accessory can be attached to an information processing device. The accessory includes a housing, a movable operation section, and a movable portion. An inside of the housing is visible from an outside thereof through at least a portion thereof. At least a portion of the operation section is exposed on the outside of the housing. The movable portion is placed at a position inside the housing that is visible from the outside of the housing through the portion of the housing. A position and/or an attitude of the movable portion changes in response to the operation section being operated.

There are conventional accessories which, when connected to a portable device, add functions to the portable device. For example, there are techniques where an external controller as an accessory is connected to a connector provided on a controller of a game device. This enables a wider variety of game operations using two controllers.

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Other patents filed are also interesting, as they follow up on previous handheld filings regarding hand gesture detection. Though it looks slightly strange, the concept could potentially be used in clever ways.

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Overall these make fascinating reading, in particular the patent regarding detachable controllers. Let us know what you think in the comments.

With thanks to Benson for the heads up.

[via neogaf.com, freepatentsonline.com, freepatentsonline.com]