Nintendo has always championed local multiplayer experiences, whether it be with link cables for its handheld Game Boy systems or the easy wireless connectivity of the 3DS, and if a new patent application is any indication, the company could be working on a new type of screen that could revolutionize local multiplayer gaming all over again.
Published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 12, Nintendo’s latest patent application is for a game system with “a plurality of information processing apparatuses that are capable of communicating with each other.”
These processing apparatuses are located inside stand-alone screens, and by touching two or more of them together, information can be relayed between them in order to produce new game experiences. Examples in the patent application show a finger being dragged from one screen to another without the system losing track of it, as well as a ball that seamless moves across the connection between the two. The screens don’t need to be necessarily making physical contact either, as one of the images shows a gap between the two with the ball still able to move from one to the next — perhaps more impressive is the ability to “bank” a ball off of the air so it approaches the second screen from a different angle.
It appears one screen can even be angled upward in order to provide momentum for an object as it approaches the second screen, such as a bowling ball about to hit a set of pins. The connections aren’t limited to just two screens, with one image showing three screens connected to create a three-dimensional image.
Though its use will likely be limited to very select types of games if it were to make it to market, Nintendo’s screen-communication technology could make family game night a whole lot more fun. Why use a traditional cardboard game board when you could connect screens together and let Nintendo blow your mind?
Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before Nintendo reveals its plans for the device, if it actually moves past the patenting stage. With the Switch still selling so well, however, we don’t see Nintendo releasing new hardware for at least a few years.