Posted by Marlon McDonald @epsotron
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

So in the same week we learned that the NX will be released in 2017, and that the Wii U's Legend of Zelda game has been delayed... again, Nintendo have patented a controller that makes the fake NX controller look positively sane and wholeheartedly legit.

Dug up by NeoGAF user Rösti, the U-shaped peripheral looks like something that wouldn't seem amiss in a stable, or in the science labs of the world, and was apparently patented back in 2014.

U must be having a laugh
U must be having a laugh

The aluminium, motion-based controller contains a number of sensors that could be related back to fitness, like a gyroscope, accelerometer and temperature sensors. Which, in turn, fits in with Nintendo's Quality of Life initiative which has recently gone fairly quiet.

The initiative was Nintendo R&D departments attempting to design a device, or devices, that could improve the health of their users. Alas, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima poured water on that theory back in February. H/t to Kotaku for the scoop:

"It’s not yet at the level of a Nintendo product. If we can release it, we’ll release it. If we can’t, then we’ll examine things further."

Other diagrams from the patent show the controller in various states of use:

That clears that up...
That clears that up...

And even alludes to the controller being paired with "remote devices". Could that mean it could work with one of the rumored 2 parts of the NX?

Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down

But if this controller, or fitness aid, or whatever, does indeed find itself on sale in the future, what will it actually be for?

1. Getting Animals Into Gaming

Horsing around
Horsing around

Could Nintendo be treading into Animal Crossing-like pastures IRL? And patent a controller that can be attached to the hooves of horses for digital field frolicking?

2. Steering Wheel Of The Future


'Cause that makes sense with its shape and all, right?

3. Garden Games

Are Nintendo trying to get us back into quoits and croquet?

4. Actual Fitness Peripheral

Combined with the Wii Fit board or a exercise bike with no handlebars, could this become some kind of new Wii Fit title? Excitebike or something?

5. Science, Bitch

Or is it just a plain old magnet?

6. Nintendo VR Controller

Wouldn't put that past them either!

I love a bit of speculation, me. But, man, I'd love some clarity on this crazy contraption!

What about you?

(Sources: IGN, NeoGAF, Kotaku)