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Nintendo has Filed for a Strange New Patent in Japan

  • The new patent is for a pair of what seem to be hinged Joy Cons.
  • The bottom portions remain unchanged, but the top pieces are bent.
  • There is an included alternate design that bends the bottom of the controller as well.

Nintendo just can’t stop making weird new stuff, can they? First they announced that weird ring… thing, and now there’s a patent on the book for a hinged Joy Con… What?

Joking aside, this new patent from Nintendo is pretty insane. Filed in Japan, this new patent seems to be showing off a new design for the titular Joy Con remote. There are a few images showing different possible positions and designs for the new Joy Con, but the premise is simple. On each side, the top third or so bends, with a hinge that has a few functions. One of the designs appears to have the hinge only move the attachment rail, allowing you to attach the Joy Con to the Switch safely while also avoiding an intrusive chunk of metal sticking up straight while you’re holding the controller at an angle.

And yet, there is still an even more bizarre second version of the patent. This alternate variation shows a completely curved Joycon, one that still features a bending hinge, but also curves along the bottom portion.

This final design is the most interesting, because it allows for an even deeper level of ergonomic grip.

One of the biggest concerns fans have about this new updated system involve the potential of lost features. When Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, they revealed that the IR Camera and HD rumble was not available on the console to account for its smaller form factor. While these fears are justified, it appears that not all hope is lost. At the very least, one of the images shows either the IR Camera or a stand-in for the Camera on the hinged Joy Con.

Of course, this could all mean nothing. Patents come and go so freely, that until any more concrete evidence comes out, we are left with raw speculation.