Damn Nintendo! Back at it again with the weird peripherals. In October 2014, the company filed a patent application with the super sexy title “Training Implement, Training System, and Input Device,” (already abbreviated as TITS, because the Internet is so classy). The patent was published April 22, 2016 through the World Intellectual Property Organization, where incredibly thorough NeoGaf forum user Rösti found it.
A little too curved to be a boomerang, the new controller, pictured below from the patent filing, it looks more like a cartoon magnet, a horseshoe, or a big “U” in keeping with the Nintendo theme.
Besides the expected accelerometer and gyroscope, it has load sensors built into the bridge between the two upright sections of the “U,” implying the controller could be squeezed like a grip strengthener: “Body is joined to each of the immovable two grip portion and the two gripping portion opposed at a distance, having a connecting portion for connecting the two gripper. Load sensor is provided inside the main body, for detecting a load applied to the body.” (Here’s the original in case you can comment a more accurate translation: 本体は、間隔を隔てて対向する２つの把持部および当該２つの把持部のそれぞれと非可動に接合され、当該２つの把持部を連結する連結部を有する)。
Gamers are having a hard time imagining what games are a perfect fit for this particular peripheral. It’s visually similar to the Xbox 360 “Steering wheel”, but is clearly intended for fitness games. Descriptive diagrams show a person squatting, the patent includes temperature sensors as part of the device as well, and specifically describes using this new controller design in conjunction with a balance ball.
It’s unclear if the “U” controller is intended for the Wii U or the upcoming NX console. There’s always the chance this is tied in to Nintendo’s Quality of Life doughnut sleep-tracker, but since that was pushed back there’s no way to tell. In any case, gamers are already voicing doubts about whether it will ever see the light of a GameStop, but at least Nintendo keeps gamers on their toes–sometimes literally.