Nintendo has patented a new controller design that features scroll wheels on its top two shoulders.

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The patent document appeared online yesterday after originally being filed back in February of this year (thanks, NeoGAF).

Nintendo's documentation shows designs for a touchscreen controller similar to that of the Wii U, although with only two face buttons instead of four.

Each shoulder also sports a scrollable button to be used with the index finger of each hand, or with the thumb of one hand when the controller is held in portrait like a book.

The wheels could be used for scrolling through an inventory of items, for example, or zooming in and out of an environment.

Nintendo is likely now deep into the design stage of its upcoming Wii U successor, currently code-named NX, although whether this innovation makes it into the final product remains to be seen.

Last month it was revealed that the company had patented designs for a games console that lacked a disc drive. Its controller also had a display on it.

Nintendo will discuss NX in more detail next year, the company's late president Satoru Iwata said.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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