The secret could be out thanks to a patent office registration!
According to a documentation on the US patent website, Nintendo's new console will feature gyroscopic, tilt-sensitive technology, an LCD touch screen, and a greatly reduced number of face buttons.
The patent document referring to the Revolution as "the game device" states that the controller is a "housing held by a player" and "the handheld game device" - it also goes on to describes key aspects of the controller's functionality.
The controller’s gyroscopic ability is the key focus within the patent, describing the function as, "a tilt sensor provided on the housing, a viewpoint coordinates determination mechanism for determining viewpoint coordinates in accordance with an output value of the tilt sensor." Essentially saying that the tilting action will affect what we see on the screen
The document goes on to say "the game system allows the player to feel as if the three-dimensional game space is tilted in accordance with a tilt of a game device, etc., with a minimal processing burden,".
Furthermore the patent gives details of the layout of the controller's face buttons and confirm that an LCD screen will be present on the device. "The handheld game device includes a rectangular housing. The housing has the liquid crystal display,"
The number of buttons present on the controller are further explained in the patent, informing us that "a direction instruction switch [d-pad], a start switch, and a select switch are placed on the left side of the LCD, movement instruction switches (A button) and (B button) are placed on the right side of the LCD, and, if necessary, other movement instruction switches R and L are placed on the right and left ends of the upper side of the housing, respectively."
This essentially tells us that the controller features no analogue stick purely for the fact that the tilting mechanism acts as the substitute.
"The handheld game device includes a control circuit (for example, a CPU chip) having a CPU core," more details include; "An LCD controller, a work RAM, a video RAM, and an interface circuit are connected to the CPU core via a bus (an address bus and a data bus)."
"LCD controller" confirms the screen will be touch compatible while the rest of the text indicates the controller has enough processing power of its own to run graphical routines and mini games on the LCD screen.
The controller will also accommodate a cartridge slot according to the document, "The handheld game device has a cartridge insertion slot formed in the upper side there of for removably inserting the game cartridge."
The patent would suggest that this is most likely a memory card device, as it says, "A desired cartridge is connected to the connector as a preparation for starting a game. As a result, the player (user) is allowed to play his/her desired game by changing the cartridge." The ability for different players to boot up their own save games from their own memory cartridges is clearly possible.
Essentially the controller has a reduced number of face buttons and a touch screen that gives gamers the freedom to look around, move, and affect their level of acceleration, by tilting the controller.
Nintendo has yet to confirm that the details of this patent are in fact the real deal but it is very likely that you've just been described Nintendo's innovative controller!