We love the US Patent Office - it's always full of surprises. Off we went today to look for the legendary Xbox 360 motion-sensing controller, which has apparently been revealed by Microsoft Games Studios' Ken Lobb and we discover a new Wii controller - pictured right.
Ken Lobb's apparent revelation of the 360 controller came in a form of words he used in a walk-through for IGN
. "One of the things that the wrench is used for is to turn these devices. So you basically grab with the wrench and then you twist the controller
around and it'll move different things in the game", said Ken.
We actually think he meant that you twist one of the standard controller's analog sticks. The rest of the Interweb appears to think that he meant one would twist the entire controller. We're happy to be proved wrong on this one. However, without a brand new controller - which you'd figure that IGN would have mentioned - it's unlikely.
Anyway, back to the new Wii controller. The USPO's filing (26th June 2008) for the new controller relates directly to the standard Wii controller patent
The new controller
is explained thus:
"A game operating device (controller) includes a longitudinal housing, and a holding portion held by hand to be wrapped by its palm it is formed in the housing. A direction switch is provided on an upper surface at a position where it can be operated by thumb of the hand holding the holding portion, and a start switch and a select switch are provided backward thereof.
"An X button 46 and a Y button are further arranged in line on the upper surface of the housing. An imaging information arithmetic unit is provided at a front end of the housing in a longitudinal direction in such a manner that an imaging device thereof is exposed from a front-end surface.
"A concave portion is formed on a lower surface at a position corresponding to the direction switch. The concave portion includes a valley and two inclined surfaces. An A button capable of being operated by index finger of the hand holding the holding portion is provided on the backward inclined surface.
"By processing an image signal obtained by imaging an infrared ray from LED modules by the imaging device, it is possible to obtain an operation signal varying according to a position and/or attitude of the controller. "
We are also told that there "is a gun-type adapter 300. The adapter 300 has a butt 302 for holding by hand, as with general gun-type controllers. The butt 302 is provided with a trigger 306 surrounded by a trigger guard 304. A gun barrel 308 extends from the butt 302 through a magazine. Besides, the gun barrel 308 can be detached by a connector 310 with respect to the butt 302."
A gun, eh? Be warned though... it's clearly pointed out that "Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is clearly understood that the same is by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims."
So, like the Xbox 360 motion controller... it's possibly just a nice idea for the moment.