Nintendo’s Wacky Patents

In order to stay ahead of their competitors, Nintendo has done a lot of work to make sure that their ideas are protected. They have come up with quite a few concepts, particularly for their Wii console, that were never released or even manufactured, but they ensured that no one else could make them either. 

For example:

Nintendo has made various peripheral objects over the years that are designed to accompany their special Wii remotes. They made a steering wheel to be used with driving games. They made a baseball bat to be used with sports games. They made a golf club to be used with golf games. They had to sit and think: “what else would people want?” They thought of arcades and how some arcade games include a motorcycle to sit on so that gamers can feel immersed in the game and get a sense of an authentic driving experience.

So… why not horses?

For its horseback riding games, Nintendo actually developed a horse peripheral that users could sit on at home and simulate a gaming experience. It consisted of an inflatable seat, with a stand that rose up in front of the user, where the remote would be attached. Thinking about it, it seems ridiculous! How could there possibly be enough of a market for such an odd product to be developed?

Another bizarre peripheral they were planning was a squishy “football” that would encase the Wii remote, and it would be used in football games for gamers to feel like they were really carrying a ball. In theory, it sounds kind of cool, but it’s a highly impractical object.

It turns out that Nintendo felt the same way, and these ideas never got beyond the drawing phase. The point here is that they came up with concepts, and they wanted to make sure that they were protected from other companies. They had them drawn up, and they filed for patents and got them. Now, no one else can take those ideas and patent them. 

In my last post, I mentioned how difficult it can be to protect an idea, but Nintendo is a prime example of how it can be done. All it takes is getting some good patent drawings done, and then fill out the paperwork and pay the filing fees. You may decide that you never want to develop a particular idea, but at least you will have the option to build something that no one else legally can. 



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