How the NVIDIA touch ball could revolutionise gaming controllers

It may be hard to believe, but using a controller on a PC is something that only came into prominence in the late-nineties.

Before, the keyboard and mouse would be the primary method, with games like DOOM and Sonic not needing the precision of a controller.

But now, we have hundreds of controllers ready to be used on a PC; even from Sony and Nintendo in an unofficial way. However, GPU maker NVIDIA has surprisingly been found to be working on a controller of their own.

It looks more like an all-in-one controller, much like Steam's own take.

What's the Controller?

NVIDIA filed a patent with the United States Application Office back in July of 2019, where they detail this controller as "..While one type of input, either a mouse input or a joystick input, may be preferred for one type of a game, it may not be preferred, or even compatible, for another type of a game."

From the images supplied, it looks like an 8bitDo SNES controller, but with a trackball instead of a right-analogue stick.

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The patent also describes this as.. "...A game controller, comprising: a housing; a trackball rotatably retained within the housing; a motion sensor located within the housing and configured to detect a rotation of the trackball and determine, based on the rotation, an offset value of the trackball from a reference point; a touch sensor located within the housing and configured to reset the offset value to zero when the trackball is not being physically touched by a user; and a processor located within the housing and configured to generate a simulated joystick input using the offset value."

From this, we can tell that there's even a processor inside the controller to accurately track the inputs from the motion sensor and trackball.

READ MORE: NVIDIA 3080 Super rumoured..

When could it be released?

As with all patents, they may not come to fruition; they're usually filed so that the inventor can claim the rights to a certain invention if someone else also comes up with it.

However, its interesting that NVIDIA are thinking of a controller.

They previously brought out the 'NVIDIA Shield', which ran on Android but also had a few Nintendo games, such as 'Mario Galaxy' and 'Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess'.

The controller could be something used for their 'GeForce NOW' streaming service instead, to give a customer a better way of using the service with a branded controller.

However, it may come to nothing, but a trackball on this controller is an interesting thought if they were to offer 'Age of Empires' and other similar games that would benefit from this.

READ MORE: NVIDIA 30 Series explained; Specs, Features, Price and more.

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