Nintendo put a lot of (perhaps misguided) faith in 3D with their Nintendo 3DS handheld, and a new patent filing shows that they very nearly did the same thing with their forthcoming Wii U console.
Speaking of the Wii U’s dual screen set up (witha TV and the tablet-like controller), US Patent 20120026166, filed by Nintendo on 26 September 2011, states that:
“One or both the displays SD and MD may be a 3D display (eg., an autostereoscopic display) that provides stereoscopic perception of depth to a viewer.”
Here, SD stands for stationary display, or your regular TV set up, while MD stands for mobile display, e.g the console’s tablet-sized controller. While it’s unlikely that the final controller build will differ much from its non-3D prototype, there is still a strong chance that the console itself will be capable of three dimensional output to a 3D screen. For instance, the patent goes on to state that:
“Images displayed on the displays SD and MD may be from any source such as an animation engine, a video game machine, a simulator, or a video which is appropriately transformed or processed to provide displays from different perspectives,” hinting at the possibility of 3D video playback at the very least.
Also, while the tablet controller showcased so far has a standard definition screen, the patent shows that it may once have been planned to be HD, or at least HD-ready:
“One or both of the displays SD and MD may be so-called high-definition displays (eg., 1280 x 720 pixels (720p) or 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080i/1080p).”
With the Wii U consoles currently being shown at trade shows still apparently only prototype designs before a finalised one is revealed at this year’s E3 conference, there’s still a slim chance that some of these features may make it into the final cut.