Nintendo Files Motion-Sensitive Portable Patent

A recent Nintendo US patent may hint at motion-sensitive followup to the company's insanely popular DS hardware. Detailing a game system with an acceleration sensor and Z-axis contact switch built into its housing, the patent specifications describe a device that would have similar capabilities to the Wii's motion-sensitive controller.

To illustrate possible use of the sensors, the patent mentions several game concepts. One features a computer-controlled tortoise that slides around the landscape based on the "land upheaval" caused by a player's motions. Other examples include a cooking game that would simulate various kitchen activities--complete with motion-sensitive frying pan and knife-slicing controls--and a Super Monkey Ball-esque multiplayer title that would have two players cooperatively tilting a maze board to guide two balls, one for each player, to the goal.

Nintendo has previously released tilt-sensitive portable titles in the form of Nintendo R&D1's WarioWare Twisted (GBA) and Nintendo R&D2's Kirby Tilt 'n Tumble (GBC). In 2001, the company demonstrated Game Boy Advance and GameCube editions of Kirby Tilt 'n Tumble that utilized the then-vaunted connectivity between the two systems to make the portable into a tilt-sensitive GameCube controller, but neither saw release.

Motion-sensitive cartridges for both Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS are available from the homebrew community, though neither are officially supported by Nintendo nor any retail games.

"We file hundreds and thousands of patents every year--this is simply just one of them," a Nintendo representative told when asked about the patent's implications.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 7, 2007 10:50 AM

    I'm not sure how good of an idea that might be with screens on portables the way they are. It's somewhat difficult to see them at certain angles.

    • reply
      August 7, 2007 11:09 AM

      This just in, Nintendo files patent for a perfectly viewable lcd screen at angles previously inconceivable

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