Nintendo invents a gamepad built from a touchscreen

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Nintendo has said precious little about its plans for
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(other than that it
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), but it might have hinted at what's coming through some recent paperwork. The console maker has
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on a gamepad design where a touchscreen would cover the entire front panel. You'd still have familiar elements like analog sticks (poking through the display) and shoulder buttons, but the usual front-facing buttons would be replaced by context-aware touch. The move would give you the adaptability of a smartphone interface with the primary controls you're used to in a TV system -- you could even use the controller on its side, or get visual effects when you press buttons. It wouldn't require a gigantic body like the Wii U's gamepad, either, and a card slot could take game data directly.

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