Ah, patents, the source of much intrigue and occasional hand-wringing. Occasionally they're also rather entertaining, and if a recently discovered U-shaped Nintendo patent became an actual product we'd be more than happy to make fun of it while admiring its ingenuity.
You can see it below, and it's actually a controller intended to assist with exercises and physical activities - the patent was filed in Japan in October 2014, Western countries on 18th September 2015 and shared with the public on 21st April this year.
The U shape naturally makes it look like an accessory for the Wii U, though that could be a coincidence. It has gyroscopic capabilities and even load sensors, so you can push and pull the bars closer and further apart.
A training implement (10) comprises a hollow body (12) formed from an aluminum alloy. The body is configured from two grips (12a) provided facing each other across a space, and a connecting section (12b) connecting the two grips. A load sensor (16) is disposed in the connecting section inside the body. The load sensor is a load cell, the strain gauge is bonded on the inside of the body, and the portion of the body to which the strain gauge is bonded functions as a strain element. Consequently, when a user applies force so as to bring the two grips towards each other or applies force so as to separate the two grips, the load thereof is detected by the load sensor.
One drawing even shows a grip accessory to shake up the form of the controller, with exercises that could help improve grip strength (we suppose).
It does seem like a rather hi-tech version of crummy exercise gadgets found on TV shopping channels, but in reality is a relatively complex piece of kit, and it could tie in with related software.
Is it a potential next step for the Wii Fit franchise, perhaps in the NX generation, or just a neat idea that the company decided to patent to play it safe? In either case, it's an intriguing filing.
We're not sure anyone would buy it, though...
I think it looks awful, leave it in the ideas bin.
No thanks. I'd like my controllers without the extra side of magnet.
Maybe is they made a horse-shoes game, but i'll stick to a conditional controller myself...
One, could easily break it by squeezing it in rage.
Just No No No
This looks like Wii controller... Please let this rest in pieces...
Ha, it does it in a totally different way, but it has basically the same "bike brake" idea I've been shouting about on my controller design for generations now (way, way before anyone else thought of it).
You can kinda see it here (on the second set of the more Wiimote-like designs):
So, at least in terms of the "bike brake" part, I'm a fan.
I might get this seat for my daughter's potty training! That's what this product is for, right?
Piece of kit?
WTF does that mean?
@SLIGEACH_EIRE 2 girls, 1 Wiimote was the first thought that popped into my head.
I can only see it having
eroticniche uses. The Wii Remote worked well because it could be used for a lot of different things. I can't see the same applying to this if it ever became a reality.
didn't seem interested with this one, probably athletic gym would be buy this one for sure lol
I would laugh my ass off if this is actually the NX controller!!
This reminds me; what happened to QoL?
QoL is on hold. Mister Kimishima said it isn't in any state to sell to the public.
1st thought from photo was " Hemorrhoidal play pad " lol
@LemonSlice Exactly what I thought when I first saw this!
I thought it looked more like a Pilot's Yoke.
The comment section here is not surprising but disappointing nonetheless.
Anyway, for a specific excercise controller for Wii Fit this could have worked nicely. No it doesn't have much use outside that game but neither does the Wii Fit Pedometer or the Balance Board (a few games used it but not well). It'd be niche but then most excercise products are.
Looks like it could of been the Wii U controller HA!
@DiscoGentleman Tell me about it. I honestly, never felt irritated at all when using dual screen gaming for the DS family nor for the Wii either.
@Kirk You're a bit abrasive at times, but damn if you don't have some interesting controller concepts.
Honestly, all this Star Fox Zero and Steam Controller fuff is really good for the game design community. My problem with many control schemes is that they don't allow for personalization and customization. If every system supported M + KB, gamepad, and gyro-supplemented gamepad, I think it could open up new doors to people and allow genres to exist on consoles that otherwise would struggle.
It seriously just looks like a giant toilet seat haha.
That thing looks wacky but considering that it was intended for exercise purposes I suppose it makes a little more sense. I would never want to use it as a traditional controller though!
@UboaNoticedYou Yeah, I can be a right jerk. lol
Looks like a toilet seat or in the 2nd image, like a tool controller for Cooking Mama when you'd sprinkle powered sugar over something with one of those kitchen tools. But that Xbox controller thing someone posted, so basically Nintendo steals from MS every time? Look at the Pro controller, then look at this U controller. Why.
Nintendo really should leave the letter "U" out of anything they do for now on...
@ekreig Good one, best comment here, horseshoes, hah!
The U-shape could have been fitting for the Wii U branding. Nintendo may have considered releasing an updated version of Wii Fit U, like they did with the original.
I like to imagine that now Nintendo's just doing this to screw with people
I am hoping this one died.
May have been QoL related. Remember, QoL was supposed to be an initiative, not just a single product. The sleep sensor was one product, this may have been related to another.
Note that this would have been filed before QoL was put on indefinite hold.
Knowing Nintendo, this is a special controller that will work for only one game, will cost $99, and the game it works for will be Pokemon or Urban Champion: Arm Wrestling Saga.
No, it's not cool.
@Boidoh Well, if this controller is for exercise related activities, that would fit in the QoL (Quality of Life) categorization, I think?
It looks cheesy, but, it's specialized for exercise. It makes me wonder how sturdy it must be though, if it's expected people will pull and push it together/apart. It seems like it could be hard to get multiple games developed for it
Calm down people. As the article states this is mainly for exercise related activities and not much else
Wii Toilet Train U
Nintendo catering to horses now?
Seems familiar somehow.
I saw the thumbnail for this article and immediately began thinking "Please tell me the second screen is a hologram..."
In all seriousness though, I won't deny that this looks ridiculous. It may have some interesting functionalities, but its capabilities seem severely limited. At least the balancing gimmick of the Balance Board allowed for some variation, with skiing, yoga, etc. I just can't see the possibilities to create variation with this thing. If this is intended as a Wii or Wii U accessory, it'll probably just end up like the uDraw Game Tablet. An interesting idea, but limited in capability and possibilities to innovate or create variation, or to put it bluntly, a failure.
Even as a part of QoL, this doesn't seem that innovative or interesting to me, or even that functional for that matter. It can help you train your muscles and maybe measure your strength, and then what? I'll be honest, it looks like bad fitness equipment from Tell Sell.
Well, it should go along really well with this patent:
I'll be waiting for the NX leak featuring this controller in the meantime.
Wait! In the wind! Another glides upon the winds into my ear!
"My uncle's goldfish's sister's husband's father's step-son's biological father's owner's uncle, who mows the grass around Nintendo and is really good friends with Reggie, said that the NX is short for the "Nintendo EXperience." Zelda U is being ported to it and the Wii U version is cancelled. The game will make use of the "Horseback Riding" peripheral and the NX's new U-shaped controller. Nintendo hopes to give gamer's the most realistic horseback riding experience any game has ever provided. They've poured extensive resources into making Epona's AI the most advanced horse AI in any game. She can recognize trees, enemies, grass, other horses, Link, Link with boobs, the sky, and the sun. They are still having problems getting her to recognize rocks though, so she has run into them and rock walls. She has also been known to run off of cliffs. This wouldn't be an issue if she wouldn't keep looking down. The game was delayed in hopes of remedying Epona's issues with rocks. Otherwise, the game will have to be overhauled and all rocks will have to be replaced with wood. A great length of time will be needed to create an explanation as to why everything is made of wood if they cannot succeed in making her recognize rocks."
I'll stop now.
@rjejr You got away with your joke. I was a bit too explicit and got hoisted by the censors. Rightly so in fairness and your idea was better..
@SLIGEACH_EIRE Sometimes it's best to leave things to the imagination.
I Don't think i'm a fan of that controller.
It would go well with a J-shaped ice cream cone.
From a consumer perspective I still don't get why they waste man hours coming up with these stupid things.
Why create something else that no one will buy? All of those Wii Fit And Wii Sports adaptors that became useless over time. The Balance Board that only worked with a very few games...the Zapper gun (from all their systems) that only worked with a few games. How many times will nintendo create more junk items?
If this is the NX controller, count me out of getting the system. If this is part of the next Wii Fit game, and they raise the price to $100 again...count me out. I'm tired of gaming peripherals always taking up space in houses.
Ridiculous!! Lol wow
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