A slew of Nintendo patent applications detail swimming, pogo, tanks, and more.
A dozen patent applications revealing unannounced game ideas appeared in the European registry on September 12, most of them pertaining to Wii Fit U.
Several apparent Wii Fit U games involve the combination of the Wii U GamePad and Balance Board, like many of the modes revealed at E3 earlier this year. Three new modes, swimming, pogo stick hopping, and tank battles are detailed.
In the swimming game, players stand on the Balance Board while holding the Wii U GamePad. The GamePad is used to navigate underwater and moving the unit in 3D space directs the on-screen character. Stepping on the Balance Board produces flutter kicks, while performing knee bends causes the character to generate dolphin kicks. These actions occur as fast as the player can move his/her legs. The television shows an underwater view, keeping the player aligned while the virtual world rotates around, while the view on the Wii U GamePad keeps the background upright, showing the character's relative orientation. Drawings depict a submerged town as well as fish swimming by.
The pogo stick-hopping game works similarly with the GamePad used for directional control. Performing knee bends here is analogous to hopping on a pogo stick. The GamePad shows the close-behind third-person view, while the television shows a view from far overhead. Here, players can see the upcoming platforms that must be hopped on.
A tank game reminiscent of the Wii Play classic was also demonstrated in the patent applications. In this game, players control a tank to take out enemy tanks. Players stand on the Balance Board and lean back and forth to move their tank forward and backward through an obstacle course. Moving the GamePad around moves the turret. If players move beyond the turret's turning ability, the entire tank will realign in the desired direction. The television shows the action from far overhead, while the GamePad's camera is positioned directly behind the tank.
Another patent application also details the use of the Balance Board and Wii U GamePad together, but in an apparently non-exercise-oriented application. The "game" would have a player place the GamePad on a table and the Balance Board under the table. The player then sits in a chair at the table with his/her feet on the Balance Board. The television screen shows a far overhead view of a cityscape, while the GamePad depicts a zoomed in view. An avatar walking along the streets moves when the player tilts their feet forward or backward on the Balance Board. The player can rotate the GamePad to rotate the local view as well as pan the view by dragging the stylus on the touch screen in the desired direction.
The applications credit Hiroshi Matsunaga, Yugo Hayashi, Keiichi Minato, Kazuya Sumaki, Keizo Ohta, and Ito Jun as inventors. These developers have worked on a variety of games including Nintendo Land, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Play, Big Brain Academy, as well as more traditional titles, including several Mario and Zelda games.
While we may find out more in the Wii U preview events tomorrow, for now you can browse diagrams from the patents in the gallery below.