Following comments from Nintendo of America VP of marketing Reggie Fils-Aime that the Nintendo DS could see a third iteration within eighteen months of the release of the DS Lite
, a newly granted patent shows a variant on the traditional design of the DS.
Patent application #20060025218 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office appears to describe and illustrate a more advanced version of either model of DS, which can register more than one point of contact with its touch screen. The device also features only two face buttons and does not appear to have Game Boy Advance backwards compatibility.
As interesting as the patent is, though, its original draft date of July 2004 likely means that it was only a prototype for the original DS or DS Lite, rather than a newly designed variant - though some of the concepts from it could be re-used in the future.
The patent uses an example of controlling a spaceship (similar in appearance to the Arwing from the Starfox
series) on the top screen by manipulating the bottom touch screen with two fingers at the same time. The distance and angle between the two points described on the touch screen are also calculated into different values for travel spend and turning angle.
Interestingly, other recent online reports have indicated that the Revolution’s 'second secret'
may be some form of touch control, a subject that Nintendo's patent #20060025218 also draws upon. But with Nintendo as usual refusing to comment on rumors, an official answer is unlikely before either E3 or Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at GDC in March