ORIGINAL STORY 18/03/16: A snapshot has appeared online that claims to give us our first glimpse of the Nintendo NX controller.
The controller that's shown seems to closely mirror a design first seen in a Nintendo patent last year. In fact, it mirrors it so closely, it's hard not to be pretty suspicious. For what it's worth, Destructoid ran a software analysis so try and see if it was Photoshopped. It concluded that it didn't appear to be too heavily doctored.
This is what the 2015 patent described:
US patent application 20150355768 details an oval controller with two analogue sticks and shoulder buttons, as well as a speaker. That's where the normalities end, however. The whole face of the device is a touch enabled display screen, allowing for custom buttons to be displayed along with animated graphics.
The controller would also be able to display other content, such as a browser. Also integrated are gyroscopic motion controls and a storage card slot.
The documents says that the screen could be either LCD or OLED, and could use the 3DS' 3D technology. Nintendo has previously been linked with Sharp's Free-Form Displayers, which would seem suitable for this quite specific task.
Perhaps of biggest note is not the embedded screen, but instead the lack of physical buttons. That could have big implications for the NX's big-screen gaming credentials if true.
UPDATE 23/03/16:Yet more images of the controllerhave appeared online. These pictures offer a better sense of scale and further suggest a button-less design. The previous patent did indicate that shoulder buttons would be included, and indeed can just be peaked.
There is still every possibility these are fake, of course.
UPDATE 3 25/03/16: Here's a look at how the second fake was made. As opposed to the first, which was a Photoshop, this one was manufactured: