(Pocket-lint) - When rumours of the Nintendo NX started to fly last year one that commonly did the rounds was that the new console would come in two elements. It was said that there will be a desktop part, a dock perhaps, and a handheld that could be taken out and about - not just like the tablet-like Wii U GamePad.

However, that train of thought died down and, in recent times, speculation has suggested the handheld console concept is wide of the mark. Until now, that is.

A patent filed by Nintendo in December last year has brought the idea of a handheld console as part of the NX very much back to the fore. The patent was posted at the end of last month and clearly shows, and details, a handheld games console.

It has stereo speakers built into the device, plus a vibration unit that works "simultaneously with the speakers or in a predetermined order". That effectively means tangible feedback to aid immersion in games.

Of course, that's nothing new. Joypads have had force feedback and rumble features for many years, handhelds not so much though.

Also, Nintendo's patent suggested that there will be some form of haptic response when using the touchscreen.

Other than that, part of the patent clearly shows a conventional button and thumbstick layout either side of the screen. It is unlikely the final product will look like this, but it gives a real indication of intent.

It's worth noting that patents for technologies are often filed, but not all make it beyond the concept stage. So until Nintendo officially reveals more about Nintendo NX later this year, we cannot know anything for certain.

Writing by Rik Henderson.