Could Project Café’s controller have a rumbling touchscreen?
Remember that patent Nintendo got last January, for a rumbling touchscreen? Back then, we all thought it was going to show up in what is now known as the 3DS (it hadn’t been announced back then, and it was referred to as the “DS 2,” much like we’re calling the Wii’s successor the “Wii 2” now), but it didn’t. After the 3DS was shown and confirmed not to feature this curious technology, the fire surrounding this patent eventually faded away.
But is it possible that it may never have been intended for a portable console to begin with? One of the most prevalent rumours about the Wii’s successor is that it will feature a controller with a built-in touchscreen. Previously, it has been suggested that the touchscreen may feature haptic feedback. But tactile feedback is just as possible – and would probably cost less to implement.
This does conflict somewhat with the haptic technology rumour, because the touchscreen described in the patent is intended to transmit its vibrations through a stylus held by the player. If the screen is primarily operated by means of a stylus, why add technology to it that is only effective when you touch it with your fingers? Further supporting this, one of 01net’s (a fairly reputable source) earliest Project Café leaks stated that the controller used a single-touch screen.
Consider also that rumble has been a standard feature in console controllers for about a decade. If a controller was to show up that included a touchscreen, extending the rumble support to that, too, only seems like a logical evolution of the controller design.
All the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Taking all of the above into account, it suddenly seems very plausible that Café’s touchscreen may indeed turn out to be a tactile one.
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