Nintendo DSi Patent Will Have Us All Using A Virtual Steering Wheel In Racing Games

Illustration for article titled Nintendo DSi Patent Will Have Us All Using A Virtual Steering Wheel In Racing Games

Mario Kart is one of the most popular games on the DS, but imagine using a virtual steering wheel to control your car. A patent has turned up showing just that, taking the DSi's touchscreen control to the next level.

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In typical patent jargon, the document says:

In one exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementation, a video game or other application displays an image of a steering wheel. Such display may be on the same screen as one that displays other information such as a race course or other environment through which the vehicle may be maneuvered in a simulated fashion, or it may be on a different screen. The steering wheel display is, in one exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementation, displayed on a screen that is touch sensitive. The touch-sensitive functionality of the screen is used in at least some exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementations to allow the video game player to control the position of the steering wheel displayed on the screen. The displayed vehicle steering wheel position, in turn, is used to control the travel motion or direction of the vehicle being simulated. The resulting simulation provides a realistic input control interface obtainable using relatively inexpensive and compact input devices such as those available on conventional portable or other video game play and/or simulation platforms.

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It'd do what the Wii did to racing games with the steering wheel peripheral. It's instantly more accessible to non-gamers, which is what Nintendo's all about these days. Sigh. [GoRumors]

Illustration for article titled Nintendo DSi Patent Will Have Us All Using A Virtual Steering Wheel In Racing Games

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DISCUSSION

Damnit. Call me old fashioned, but I almost wish this whole touchscreen trend had never happened. Don't get me wrong, touch input is great for a lot of things, but IMHO, gaming isn't one of them.

Example: I have tried numerous times to play (read: enjoy) driving games on my iTouch and have ended up uninstalling every one of them shortly after.

Granted, this concept is different, as you're not required to thrash your handheld left and right to steer, I'm still thinking this isn't going to be the best experience.