Nintendo 64 patent: Rumble pak

Nintendo 64 patent controller

I found the Nintendo 64 patent for the Rumble Pak one day while browsing around the web. The thing I love about looking at patents is that they’re never called what they are. They are always something really literal and obvious. I sort of see it as the equivalent of calling the Controller Pak a ‘Button-battery powered electronic savey-thing’.

The vibration cartridge.


The patent starts out with several diagrams showing the Rumble Pak at many different levels. First off is the Vibration Cartridge as it was meant to be used:




You can see the typical use of an N64, with a bunch of numbers and arrows pointing around.


A whole bunch of electronic circuit diagrams. I’ll just go and assume that Takeda et al. knew what they were talking about. Onto the next part.


This picture shows the inside of the Rumble Pak. This is not at all how it looks like in reality, but I guess that it’s just supposed to show the basic mechanics of the system for the purpose of the patent. After all, the connectors aren’t really ‘connected’ to anything like the other components are.

 Now is where the fun starts



Holy guacamole. Now the reason I showed this last is because I wanted to set the mood for the article. When I first found this Nintendo 64 patent document, I thought to myself “Cool, now I can have a look at the intricacies of how the Rumble Pak works!” While true, I must say that I never expected to see two clipart airplanes duking it out in a legal document.

It’s just so surreal! This document was published in August 2001, just as the Nintendo 64 was getting ready to retiren and pass the torch over to the Gamecube. Surely they could have used a screenshot from a game like, I dunno, Lylat Wars. Because that totally wasn’t about airplanes shooting other airplanes and it most definitely wasn’t the game that Nintendo pushed forward to promote the Rumble Pak. Nope. Not at all.



Now this is what I’m talking about! Again, I realise that this is meant to be a simple diagram to demonstrate an event in a game, but the blocky building, the explosion engulfing the airplane and the little shock waves around it are just too much. I can’t even begin to explain how this makes me feel.

The rest of the Nintendo 64 patent

Now, all we’ve looked at so far is the diagrams included in this Nintendo 64 patent. There’s not really that much more left to talk about this. Most of it is Jargon that I won’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell of ever understanding, and the little that I do get is just a drawn out description of what each component is and what it does. Rather than extending this post even further I’ll just end it here to spare you  your boredom.

Find out more about the “vibration source included in the controller”


Articles across the web

We have a look at the Nintendo 64 patent document for the controller's Rumble Pak.
Article published on N64 Squid


Subscribe to the mailing list

Follow N64 Squid

  • RSS Feed
  • YouTube

Random featured posts


Leave a Reply

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message