updated 09:35 am EDT, Tue September 6, 2011
Sony may have control of Wii U patented tech
Nintendo might end up paying Sony patent rights for some of the technology behind the Wii U. A 2009 patent from Sony describes a combination of a console and a "portable electronic device" with a back camera and display that could interact with the image on a main TV screen. When a player would point the handheld at the TV, it would use the camera to create an augmented reality effect where gamers would use the portable device to see things that were 'invisible' on the TV screen, such as ghosts.
Created by SCEE staff in London, the patent was only just published in late August but was originally filed on the last day of 2009, a year and a half before we tried the Wii U at E3 this June. Sony hasn't used it so far, but it hasn't had cameras as an option on handheld gaming machines until the PSVita.
Nintendo may evade the patent simply through the position of the camera. The Wii U currently only has a front camera and uses it mostly for elements such as self-portraits in games or using it for visual gestures. Images on the Wii U's gamepad can interact with the TV screen, but not in a direct visual overlap.
Neither of the involved companies has commented on the patent issues. [via NeoGAF]