Nintendo's fortunes have been slowly turning around after a rocky start to 2014. Reuters

Sharp is close to signing a deal to provide Nintendo with advanced LCD displays for use on a future device according to reports.

The Japan Times claims that the tech will be used on either a new handheld device to replace their successful 3DS console, or a recently announced mystery device that will measure sleep quality.

Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo's 3DS has been a huge success, particularly thanks to a very strong 2013. Reuters

The free-form LCD displays can be moulded to specific designs, even ones with holes cut out from them. A source told The Japan Times that this is what Nintendo plan to do, making their device "doughnut-shaped".

A video of the technology in use can be viewed here.

Nintendo would be the first company to sign to use Sharp's technology, which they are planning to start mass production of in early 2016.

Nintendo's 3DS handheld has been on the market since 2011, so even if we don't see the follow-up until late 2016 or 2017, it's safe to assume Nintendo are working on what that product will be. The same goes for whatever comes after the Wii U.

If the device really is "doughnut-shaped" however, then that doesn't sound like it would be a handheld console – making the sleep device more likely. In October Nintendo revealed their plans for a "non-wearable" which monitors the sleep activity of its users.

That device forms part of Nintendo's mysterious proposed plan for a Quality of Life (QOL) platform, which is believed to be targeting a launch in 2016.