Nintendo Patent Reveals The Wii Remote Was Originally Made For The Gamecube

By Spencer . January 8, 2009 . 7:31pm

image On March 10, 2006 Nintendo filed a patent for an “Accelerometer-based controller” in Japan, which is now registered on the US Patent and Trademark database. I wont bore you with the technical details because we know what it’s for, the Wii remote.


On further perusal, the patent figures have some interesting tidbits. One sketch shows Mario playing tennis, which we know from a previous GDC was of the original concepts that became Wii Sports Tennis. Another figure shows the Wii remote linked to a Gamecube console via a Wavebird-like adapter.





Images courtesy of the USPTO / Nintendo.

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  • Mirko

    That’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? By looking at the sketch one could also say the Wii remote was originally made for CRTs. Or disk based games, or only to be used with memory cards, or only when wearing trousers that do not reach your knees. All of that is pictured, right?

    Not that I’m disputing the theory, just the way to arrive at the conclusion.

  • Spencer

    @Mirko – Not really. The patent also includes information about a dongle which was used to connect the remote to some other hardware, namely the Gamecube which is shown in the figure. Also, patents have to be specific you can’t patent “only when wearing trousers that do not reach your knees.”

    There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Nintendo designed the Wii remote for the Gamecube. In fact, it was a brilliant decision for them to hold the remote back for the Wii since if it was released as a late accessory it wouldn’t have done so well.

  • Chow

    What I don’t understand is that they could’ve just saved everybody the cost of the Wii and just released that peripheral for the GameCube. Sure, some games might require more than one disc and there’d be no Wii Store, but it’d save them a lot of troubles hunting down the system.

  • Spencer

    @Chow – The remote wouldn’t have caught on as well that way. Since the remote wasn’t guaranteed be in everybody’s home publishers wouldn’t have backed it.

    Also, from a business standpoint, selling new consoles means money for Nintendo and obviously they want to make money. I really don’t understand why the Wii is so hard to find in the US though. I mean I see US Wiis on store shelves around the world that aren’t even in the US!

  • Mirko


    That sounds (quite) a bit fishy. :D

    Anyway, obviously there are GC games that greatly benefit from the remote (Pikmin, wooo!), and I’m glad I’m getting them on Wii now instead of remote compatibility for the GC in 2006/7, FWIW.

  • jarrod

    I thought this was common knowledge already honestly? Iwata’s comments back in 2004/2005 (where he talked about extending GCN’s lifecycle through peripherals) sort of retroactively supports it too.

  • Joanna

    actually the way I see it, Microsoft and Sony are a lot more aggressive with new consoles than Nintendo. Nintendo is always the last one to put forth their new next gen console. (if I am mistaken I apologize, my memory with dates is really bad XD). When Nintendo has a monopoly, like it did in handhelds with the GB/C, it takes them awhile to put forth the next gen handheld. They usually just make minor updates. I’m sure that the same will happen with the DS, the DSi is only extending the DSes life; Nintendo will most likely not introduce a the next generation DS until at least 2010, since they practically have a monopoly in the handheld department as of now. Just something I noticed. :D

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