We may be seeing another version of the Wii Fit soon, if the new Nintendo controller patent that was just filed with the Japan Patent Office today is any indication.
The patent was spotted by a NeoGAF user by the name of Rösti, who then posted the details to a forum thread. The controller, which for now does not have a name, appears to be a horseshoe-shaped hollow body crafted from aluminum.
The inventors of the new Nintendo controller are named as Ryoji Kuroda, Shinji Yamamoto, and Yoshito Yamada. Two of the three (Kuroda and Yamamoto) have prior connections to Nintendo and had filed multiple patents with them, all involving Nintendo controllers. Yamamoto has also worked with Panasonic, while Yamada has a number of patents in various technology fields.
According to the patent’s abstract (explaining what the controller is and will do):
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.
We don’t really know what the controller will be used for; its shape doesn’t point to a controller intended for regular play, so it may be a sort of peripheral controller much like the original Wii’s old steering wheel controller, which can be helpful when playing racing games such as Mario Kart or another game like it.
There’s also the possibility of the new Nintendo controller coming out not for the Wii U, but for the Nintendo NX. The NX is more likely, due to the fact that Nintendo will most likely be phasing the Wii U out via price drops and a gradual drop in production. An Amiibo reader has already had its patent revealed to the internet, so what’s to stop more from doing the same?