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Nintendo patents new DS?

Next-gen touch screen tech.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved an application by Nintendo that refers to what could be the next iteration of the DS.

The application, which was spotted by GameSpot, includes diagrams which show a DS-like device, minus the X and Y buttons and with the DS cartridge slot at the bottom of the handheld instead of the top.

But even more intriguing are the diagrams which show a user touching the bottom screen with two fingers - and the accompanying text: "In response to an operation of the touch panel by a player, coordinates values of the detected two points are detected, and at least one of a distance between the two points and an angle of the line connecting the two points is calculated."

In other words, this particular DS is able to pick up two points of contact on the touch screen - which means you could, for example, control the speed and direction of a spaceship using two fingers.

According to the patent application, "A movement parameter such as a travel speed and a turning angle is set on the basis of at least one of the calculated distance and angle, and the movement of the character such as travel and turning is controlled on the basis of the movement parameter," do you see?

But just what is the patent for, exactly? Well, let's not get too excited - it was first drafted way back in July 2004 and filed a year later, so it could just be a prototype for the DS or DS Lite. A Nintendo spokesperson declined to comment, simply telling us: "We file hundreds of patents every year and cannot comment on individual cases or submissions."

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