A June patent published today by Nintendo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office features a controller dominated by a touchscreen.

A NeoGAF user spotted the patent on freepatentsonline.com and Destructoid uncovered the filing with the USPTO.

The patent's wordy abstract (text below) describes a controller with a display panel/touch panel, buttons, and two sticks. It's partially obscured in the shot above, but the controller has handles on either side to grip the unit like a typical controller.

A non-limiting example information processing apparatus comprises a housing, and a first portion of the housing is formed in an elliptical form when viewing from the front. A display panel and a touch panel constitute one main surface of the first portion. Holes are formed in left and right end portions of the display panel and the touch panel, and two operation sticks are provided through the two holes. When viewing the first portion from the front, an area except key tops of the operation sticks becomes a display area. 

While the picture and text clearly demonstrates a controller, whether it's for the NX, something else, or used at all by Nintendo remains to be seen.

[Source: USPTO via DestructoidNeoGAF]

 

Our Take
Patents should always be taken with a grain of salt, but there have been previous Nintendo patents with a display screen, and it's well within the realm of possibility.