Nintendo is facing a lawsuit over the design of its latest console, the Switch, which Gamevice believes is a direct copy of its Wikipad.
Accessory manufacturer Gamevice began developing the Wikipad in 2012, an Android tablet with optional detachable controllers on either side – an accessory also developed by Gamevice. The company believes Nintendo ripped off this idea for the Switch, which is also a tablet with two detachable controllers. Gamevice is suing the Kyoto-based video gaming giant for damages, and is also calling for a total ban of Switch sales.
While it’s obvious that there are similarities, there are also big differences between the two tablet-based systems. The Switch’s joy-con controllers can be used separately from the console whereas Gamevice’s controllers have to be slotted onto the tablet to work. As for the way they attach, Gamevice’s accessory clips on, whereas the joy-cons neatly slide. If anything, Nintendo produced a more polished and refined version of Gamevice’s accessory and console – what the Wikipad ‘could’ have been.
Lawsuits such as this are commonplace in the videogame industry, though perhaps not on this level. Just last week Rockstar were hit with a lawsuit claiming that its 15 year old Grand Theft Auto: Vice City used the persona Miss Cleo when creating the game’s Auntie Poulet character. Like Rockstar, it’s doubtful Nintendo have anything to worry about.
Do you think Nintendo used the Wikipad’s design when developing the Switch? Let us know in the comments section below.