Nintendo sued over joycon controller design, meanwhile NVIDIA says Nintendo are "innovators"
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With the release of the Nintendo Switch and a refresh in the 2DS/3DS line with the new 2DS XL Nintendo has been having a good 2017 so far. NVIDIA specifically mentioned this during their financial call for this quarter, saying that they were thrilled with the success that Nintendo has had with their Switch console and the design concept behind it. “I’m so happy for Nintendo because they’re risk takers. They’re innovators. They’re not influenced by what other people do, and they’re original thinkers..." Presumably part of this praise is due to Nintendo choosing to use an NVIDIA Tegra ARM SoC in a hybrid flagship-console instead of going with a more powerful TV-only x86 option like in the XBOX ONE and PlayStation 4.
A company who doesn't think Nintendo is innovative is Gamevice, the manufacturer of the Wikipad and various detachable controllers for phones and tablets. While there are other gaming tablets such as the NVIDIA Shield, they claim that the removable nature of the Joycon controllers is too close to patents they hold. These patents were developed for the Wikipad but are also used for their more modern controller systems, which rely on two removable controllers that hold a phone or tablet as a "bridge section" in the middle.
The Wikipad looks notably different to the Switch. However, the controller setup on the Gamevice controllers for phones and tablets do bear a resemblance to the Joycon controllers. Given that there are a limited number of ways that buttons can be placed while still being practical, we suspect that the lawsuit will focus mostly on the concept of detachable controllers.
The terms being sought by Gamevice include payment for damages and a full ban on the sale of the Switch console, giving this lawsuit the potential to cause massive damage to Nintendo.