Wii U Controller Patent Application Unveils New Details
Nintendo's patent registration for its Wii U controller reveals many features that gamers should keep an eye for.
Nintendo’s patent application for the Wii U controller is said to feature a magnetic field sensor, flash memory and a dedicated CPU. In addition to this, the shuriken, baseball, golf demos, Shield Pose demo, and an airplane shooting game are described. The patent application also mentioned several possible specific technology implementations, but it can be subject to change.
The Wii U controller’s magnetometer, usually used as a compass when embedded in smartphones, is used as a reference orientation — a combination of accelerometer and gyrosensor motion data. Meanwhile, the dedicated CPU is embedded in a device referred as Codec LSI. This suggests that its primary purpose is to decode videos sent to the unit. In terms of video, it is generated in the Wii U console and sent over wireless connection. While the patent application specifically mentions H.264 as the system’s video codec, it indicates that a compression is required to stream videos. The MIMO capabilities of IEEE 802.11n WiFi is also mentioned as a data transmission method. The flash memory, on the other hand, might be used to store Mii character or more substantial data. Moreover, the Wii U controller contains an expansion port for unspecified accessories, though the application stated that this could be left off.
Also mentioned in the patent application is the IR communication module, integrated sensor bar, camera and microphone. However, it is stated that the sensor bar could be replaced with a camera tracking system. Still, the controller leaves possibility for additional camera/s on both sides of the system. And while Nintendo’s current implementation uses a passive, single-touch LCD screen, a capacitive multi-touch system and different display technology could be used. The patent application also noted the possibility of using multiple Wii U controllers on a single system. As for the airplane game, it is described with a behind-the-back view of the aircraft on the TV. That said, only one player can control its movement, while the second player acts as a canon operator.
Lastly, the patent application also details an operation mode, wherein the game system cooperates with the TV broadcasting. Nintendo’s Wii U controller could also display information about programs, while the TV is being watched. But how it will work is still vague as of the moment.
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