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Nintendo engineer's patent application could hint at new handheld

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

A patent application for what appears to be a novel new handheld has surfaced via the popular gaming forum NeoGaf. The patent, which features an elliptical touchscreen embedded in a traditional console controller, was not directly submitted by Nintendo. However, the individual named as the lead inventor appears to be Masato Kuwahara, a member of their development engineering department.

Polygon has found that a patent application number 14/734472 matching the details of the one listed at NeoGaf has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The device as described features two control sticks and two shoulder buttons. Additional user inputs appear on the display itself. The patent suggests that those virtual buttons will be movable and assignable, allowing for ease of use by left-handed players.

We've reached out to Nintendo for more information. You can read more about the patent here.

Update: When reached for comment, Nintendo responded “We have no comment regarding this patent matter.”

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