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Nintendo Working on a Motion Sensing Wii Portable?

by Paul Strauss

I was rummaging around the USPTO Patent database earlier today, and came across this intriguing patent application from Nintendo.

Nintendo Motion Sensing Portable

The filing, originally dated March 30, 2007 (but just updated this week) describes a portable gaming system that includes X/Y/Z motion sensing that’s similar to that found in the Wii-Mote. The application abstract describes the system as follows:

“A game system includes a housing to be held by a player. The housing incorporates an XY-axis acceleration sensor to detect an acceleration in an X-axis and Y-axis direction and a Z-axis contact switch to detect an acceleration in a Z-axis direction. These sensor and switch detect at least one of an amount (e.g. tilt amount, movement amount, impact amount or the like) and a direction (e.g. tilt direction, movement direction, impact direction or the like) of a change applied to the housing. A simulation program provides simulation such that a state of a game space is changed related to at least one of the amount and direction of the change applied to the housing.”

Nintendo Motion Sensing Portable

Now unless I’m mistaken, that sure sounds like some sort of combination of a portable console and a Wii motion sensing controller. The system would also provide for interactivity between multiple players, so one player’s movements could impact information on the other players’ consoles.

Let’s hope Nintendo decides to commercialize this technology and put it into a real gaming system sometime soon. Given the huge success of the Wii, it seems only natural that the next logical step would be to go portable..

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Comments (18):

  1. Kevin says:

    Wouldn’t it just be easier to make an attachment for the ds? >.>

  2. technabob says:

    Actually, there is already a 3rd party add-on for the DS but it only runs homebrew games.

    But you’re right, Nintendo could definitely release this as an add-on, rather than a whole new console. The intentionally vague patent doesn’t really force them down one path or another.

  3. Anonymous says:

    they forgot rotation on the z-axis.

  4. Jrt says:

    this patent may not be for a planned console, rather than protecting thier right to make something like this if they so decided.

  5. calistan says:

    Sorry, guys, the patent was filed in Japan in 1999.

  6. Lord Blizzard says:

    1999? Even though it clearly says “August 2, 2007” at the top? I would think that the patent itself wouldn’t lie….

  7. Richard Lee says:

    This is a stupid idea, if your turning the device then your turning the viewing screen away from your field of vision.

    By having to move the device and keep your eyes focused on it at the same time, I can easily imagine a number of people will start to feel quite sick and disorientated.

  8. easy rhino says:

    this is a U.S. patent application. under foreign data it says this was filed in Japan in 1999 and 2000.

  9. technabob says:

    I thought that “foreign applications” meant other patents that were relevant to the patent, but I think you’re right. Perhaps Nintendo patented this idea in Japan several years ago, and is now asserting this right in the U.S. too.

    Still, it indicates their interest in the concept.

  10. calistan says:

    It sounds a bit like the Pokemon Mini. There’s a contact switch for shaking it on the Z axis.

    The uspto site has some great stuff on it but you will never find a patent for a forthcoming videogame product on there. Things usually take ages to appear. Four or five years down the line you’ll still be seeing patents that refer to Wii.

  11. asterick says:

    I agree on the pokemon mini, except that the console was well past it’s life-span before this patent was even created (March 2007). They might be doing a VMU\PocketStation style console\controller combination. Who knows at this point.

  12. calistan says:

    Seriously, it’s an old patent. Search the Japanese patent office site. (www.ipdl.inpit.go.jp)

    From that site: Initial application 4/10/1999, abstract filed 9/6/2000, published 26/6/2001, examined 27/12/2005, registered 1/9/2006. Patent number 3847058.

    End of story, right? Like I said, you will never find info on a patent site regarding something that’s top secret, like a new console. It would be a recipe for industrial espionage. The patent sites are good for getting cool drawings and finding out about stuff that was never manufactured but that’s all.

    To see just how many of these things are filed by Nintendo, go to uspto.gov and search for ‘nintendo’ under ‘assignee name’. Interesting reading but there are no secrets to be found

  13. technabob says:

    I never said this was “top secret”.

    However, companies usually try to file patents as soon as they’ve got their ducks in a row on a particular technology. This is often years before they commercialize a product. That appears to be the case here (although it was filed in Japan quite some time ago.)

    If they don’t file something fairly broad and vague early on, they usually wont get the patent granted to them. That’s because if they have an idea, then someone else implements it before the patent is filed, they’ll lose out on the basis of “Prior Art.”

  14. Steve says:

    or a Nintendo Phone?

  15. bitbunnys.de says:

    Bringt Nintendo das “Wii”-Feeling auf Handhelds?…

    "Wii"-ähnliches Spielen in der S-Bahn, sprich ein portables Zockgerät, bei dem sich über Hand- und Armbewegungen die Protagonisten der Games steuern lassen?…

  16. easy rhino says:

    if this idea really was patented in japan 6 years ago then nintendo must have some pretty awesome patents currently in the works. btw, this blog post is getting a lot of press so congratulations.

  17. Nic says:

    I personaly think that they should either come up with a brand new idea for a handheld. Motion Sensing is for more of a TV experiance, which is why the Wii was such a big success. The DS was too because of touch. Think about a person moving a portable system not only would it ruin the viewing angle lyk stated earlier but it would just make the player look honestly messed up and would be a hassle if your on a mivng bus and your car turns right instead of left or your killin a boss and you miss a shot and die. They should improve the DS for example if they made a new system give it two screens again make one touch not two or it would be a hassle. Make the screens widescreen and maybe even hd 480p plus, gamecube/360 graphics, better quality if you flip it open ect. More media lyk video music pics ect. a os lyk the wii channels with an updatable online option. Backwards compatibility with gba or ds gb gbc or all. Finally much much much better battery life. Of couse they dont need to put all of these in but if they did for a resonable price $250 Canadian MAX (because in 3-6 years it might cost much less you never know) I’d definetly buy it . (250 might be alot but its not much more that the PSP at launch 200 I think)

  18. Ethan says:

    I think that this idea is great and that nintendo makes a wii portable.I love the wii.

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