Nintendo filed a patent in February this year for a "Method and apparatus for simulating games involving a ball." In other words, it's a football-shaped house for your Wii Remote.
According to a patent filed by a group of Nintendo employees based in Japan and the U.S., the football-shaped controller housing is intended to increase the realism of sports video games. Coupled with the motion-sensing Wii Remote, the user would strap the football to his or her hand and go through the motions of playing. Movement would translate to the screen via the games console.
The patent application, originally unearthed by Siliconera
, describes the Wii Remote fitting into a football made of "sponge, foam, or plastic material," with the nunchuck possibly fitting into the side of the housing. Users would use their non-throwing hand to press buttons on the Remote to perform functions such as selecting plays.
The possibilities for throwing the football as a quarterback are obvious, but the patent also describes other motions used in football, such as running, jumping, and dodging.
Games like EA Sports' Madden NFL Football
franchise already use the Wii's motion-sensing capabilities, albeit without the added benefit of a football-shaped controller. Peripheral companies and Nintendo itself have also already released numerous Wii Remote controller housings, from tennis rackets to golf clubs to steering wheels.
The emergence of the foam football controller patent comes after two other distinctive patents. Nintendo in January filed a patent
for an inflatable horse in which a user could place a motion-sensing controller in order to simulate horseback riding in a video game. An August patent from Sony Computer Entertainment America was for a laugh detector
that would track users' emotions.
Below is a picture from Nintendo's football controller patent via the European Patent Office