"Two finger" touch panel patent sparks DS speculation

A patent filed by Nintendo with the US Patent Office last year has come to light this week and kicked off speculation of a possible functionality upgrade for the Nintendo DS, as it describes a new control system for a dual-screen console with a touch interface.

The patent, which was uncovered by US website GameSpot, describes a console not dissimilar to the DS, but with one key difference - namely the ability to sense multiple pressure points on the touch-screen, rather than just a single point as the DS currently does.

What that means, in effect, is that players would be able to control games with gestures using more than one finger on the screen - with the example given in the patent being the control of a spaceship on the upper screen using two fingers on the lower screen to indicate direction and thrust.

The concept isn't exactly an entirely new one; other companies have explored the idea of two-fingered gestures before, and Apple's recent laptops allow users to scroll around documents and perform other actions by using two fingers on the touchpad.

However, the implementation of the system as a game controller is, to the best of our knowledge, a first - and could indeed point at an enhancement that could appear in any successor to the DS at some point down the line.

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