A haptic feedback control device, such as a handheld remote control or handheld game controller, for controlling a graphical object within a graphical display and for outputting forces to a user. A housing includes a button, wherein the user engages the button with a finger. The button is depressible along a degree of freedom by the user. An actuator applies forces to the user through the button along the degree of freedom. A sensor detects displacement of the button along the degree of freedom when the button is depressed by the user. A process, local to the device, controls the actuator to generate the forces upon the button in the degree of freedom to provide a tactile sensation to the user contacting the button.
There is no mention of Nintendo, but (just to fuel some speculation) the controller shown in one of the pdf documents looks uncannily like the N64 controller. I´ve extracted the image for you.
I cannot find the matching entry with the US patent office. However, one of the inventors mentioned, Erik Shahoian, seems to work for Immersion Corporation. At least, there is this document on their server written by him. A google search on this name also returns a number of other patents dealing with haptic devices. There is this one called Low-cost haptic mouse implementations and this one entitled Vibrotactile haptic feedback devices. Obviously this person seems to be very active in researching haptic applications that could be used with videogame consoles.
Now, Immersion is apparently not tied to Nintendo - at least not officially - but Immersion has sued Sony and Microsoft for their use of a rumble feature in their controllers. They have not sued Nintendo. Some say that Nintendo´s patent predates Immersion´s, others suspect some kind of cooperation. Well, maybe here it is.