Nintendo has reportedly filed a new patent for an upcoming controller, which would replace the traditional shoulder buttons with scrolling wheels.

The filed patent was spotted by an eagle-eyed NeoGAF user, and was filed with the United States Patent Office back in February 2015. The patent reportedly shows a controller design similar to that of the current Wii U controller, albeit with a few key differences.

According to the official document that was filed with the United States Patent Office earlier this year, the “wheel type operation section” has both rotation detection and pressing detection, strongly indicating that it would function both as a traditional button input as well as a scrolling input.

The diagram for the patented controller design.

The diagram for the patented controller design.

These buttons are further described as being able to be used by both index fingers if the controller is held with both hands, or just a single thumb if held in one hand. Other features reported for the controller are the traditional directional buttons and two analogue sticks, however it features just two face buttons, instead of the usual four we’ve come to expect from console controllers.

Earlier this year, speculation was rife that the next big Nintendo console would be called the ‘NX’. While Nintendo hasn’t elaborated further on this upcoming console, the company has stated that it will be talking about it sometime in the future. Could this design we’re seeing now be the controller for the NX?

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