Could Project Café’s controller have a rumbling touchscreen?

Nintendo 3DS

The 3DS's touchscreen doesn't vibrate...but Café's might.

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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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. George Tirebiter

    Hmm, we might have another Kid Icarus situation on our hands? (it was reported as a Wii game until E3 2010)

  2. It would be interesting to see a vibrating touch screen, but i really cant see how it would work on a remote like we are expecting from the wii 2.

    Saying that.. this is Nintendo so anything could happen.

  3. gamer guy

    funny how everyone but wiiboy101 forgot about this patent he said as soon as the cafe news broke nintendo already had a haptic touchscreen patent, it took everyone else a cpl of weeks to catch up its funny how people have such short memory’s it gives a touch screen a wiimote like feel for hitting objects etc like wii menu and wii browser

    COD black ops etc also use rumble and sound wen your hit with bullets or wen your bullets hit someone else very satisfying feedback i expect a its the same via the touchscreen

    imagine fps were your bullets impact is felt in your hand and sward fighting is also felt and edges of boxes so o can feel brail style were each virtual button is