Newly found patent fillings suggest Kinect-like features.

NX, codename from the upcoming main Nintendo console, has successfully been kept a mystery from everyone outside Nintendo’s HQ since its announcement back in March. No one really knows for sure what Nintendo is up to… but we might have stumbled on some prototype data.

Neogaf user Disorientator recently found USA’s patents for what appear to be some of the new console’s features. While the documents themselves are pretty long and explanatory, the gist is a handheld console, whose main components (at least the ones not present in previous consoles) are:

  • RGB Infrared Camera
  • Distance Sensor
  • Gesture Recognition
  • GPS receiver

While there exists a possibility these patents are not meant for a new console, the illustrations provided on these files are very telling, picturing some use all these could have in games, like responding to hand gestures and proximity to control elements on the handheld’s screen.

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Detecting how close your hands are…

 

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…or how many fingers are you showing it!

 

Nintendo’s controller “gimmicks” have been a standard since the Wii, and while both it and the WiiU got mixed opinions on their controlling schemes, these look more promising overall, as the presented use of the handheld would suggest a role of sensory terminal for the main console (should it be a “split” console like the WiiU), implying a lesser reliance on buttons to control games — after all, the presented handheld sports a touchscreen and only 4 input buttons (on the picture, letters 6A to 6D, 2 buttons where L/R would be and only 1 on each side of the console’s front).

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Knowing Nintendo, they could think of something like removing buttons and placing all control on hand gestures, but time will tell. For now, we can only wait until the E3 (hopefully) for more info on the NX.

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