Nintendo Patents A Wii U Gun Peripheral

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Two Nintendo patents granted yesterday reveal that Nintendo is already planning peripherals for its new system, the Wii U. The peripheral patented appears to be a light-gun-style device which incorporates a Wii Nunchaku-type design into the grip and holds the Wii U pad in a position facing the user. An illustration of the peripheral can be seen in the illustration above.

What could such a peripheral mean for gaming on the Wii U? There really is no telling, and it is not even known if Nintendo will release the device. It could be used to display a map in an adventure game, or it could be used to keep track of ammo or other traditional heads-up display (HUD) elements for a first-person shooter. The most creative use of it that I can come up with on my own is as an augmented-reality view of on-screen elements, such as a night-vision, infrared camera, or a Lens of Truth for the savior of Hyrule. But none of those uses actually require the peripheral. I'm guessing it is simply for an unannounced Wii U Duck Hunt game. From the patent application: can easily hold the input device 220 as if to hold a gun, and the controller device is particularly suitable for a shooting game, or the like, in which game operations are performed while assuming that the controller device is a gun.

Interestingly, the illustrations of the peripheral were not the only images in the application provided by Nintendo to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. There are many images of the Wii U and the devices it interacts with. One of the images even shows a charging dock for the Wii U pad:

An patent illustration of the Wii U charging dock

This one shows how a shuriken could be "thrown" on a television screen using a stylus on the Wii U pad. Could that be one of the mini-games included at system launch with a new Wii Sports title?

A Wii U shuriken-throwing patent illustration

Here's a drawing, also included in the patent application, of a person using the Wii U pad as a golf tee:

A patent illustration of the Wii U pad being used as a golf tee

What do you think? Does the Wii U look fun? Will it be an improvement over the current Wii in any significant way? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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